Along with the crowds of boaters out on Lake Washington this weekend during Seafair celebrations will be several police officers from multpile jurisdictions looking to enforce all the boating safety laws including Boating Under the Influence(BUI). Officers from Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Redmond and Washington State Patrol will be joining together patrolling the waterways looking for impaired drivers according to watikileaks.com.
During Seafair 2011, a total of 554 vessels were contacted leading to 71 arrests for BUI and 3 arrests for Minor in Possession on the waterways according to the Washington State Patrol (see press release). There were 59 BUI arrests during Seafair 2010 and 110 BUI arrests for Seafair 2009.
Similar to years past, people who are arrested for suspicion of Boating under the influence will have their boat impounded and be taken to Proctor Landing on where a temporary 60 foot dock has been erected. The Mobile Impaired Driving Unit (MIDU) will also be at Proctor Landing for breath test processing. The MIDU has 3 breath test machines and two holding cells. Fences will enclose the area to detain people after their BUI arrest.
According to one article, it is estimated that between twenty and thirty thousand boats will be on the waterways this weekend with a total number of attendees could exceed three hundred and fifty thousand people. See article. It is critical that anyone who plans to be the operator of a boat this weekend completely abstain from alcohol and/or drug consumption. While the legal limit for a BUI is the same as DUI (.08), over the past decade I have represented people who were arrested for BUI and blew under the legal limit.
The weather forecasts for this weekend call for glorious weather and with it should be the expectation of greater crowds and law enforcement presence and the water. The attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense will be available all weekend long and can be reached directly at 425-284-2000.