Charged With A BWI? Possible Defenses A Criminal Law Attorney May Use


A BWI is similar to a DWI; however, a BWI is when you are boating while intoxicated, while a DWI is when you were driving while intoxicated. If you were charged with a DWI, a common defense used is that you were illegally stopped, and thus you should not be charged with a DWI. When it comes to boating, officers can pull you over for anything they want, including simple safety checks for life vests. As such, an illegal stop is not a defense that can be used for BWI charges; but there are many other defenses that can be used. Here are a few of the possible defenses a criminal law attorney may use to help you fight the charges you are facing: 

You Were Not Actively Operating the Boat

In order to be charged with boating while intoxicated, you must have been actively driving or operating the boat at the time you were approached by an officer. If your boat was docked, anchored, or someone else was driving the boat, you cannot be charged with this crime. In some cases, it may appear a boat is moving, thanks to waves and currents. However, the boat may not have been moving. The arresting officer has the burden of proving the boat was actually being operated, and that it was being operated by you. 

On-Boat Sobriety Tests Are Flawed

Another defense to a BWI is that on-boat field sobriety tests were flawed. Many of the on-boat sobriety tests are the same as those used for roadside sobriety tests. However, while it may be easy to stand on one leg or walk a straight line on the road, it is not so easy on a wavy or rocky boat. Likewise, your eyes may look red and bloodshot due to wind and sun exposure, rather than alcohol. As such, many defense criminal lawyers strongly contest the on-boat sobriety tests. 

Blood Tests Were Delayed

The last defense a criminal law attorney may use to fight your BWI charges is that your blood results were delayed. Your blood alcohol level can rise after you have consumed alcohol, as it takes time to enter your blood stream. As such, you may not have been legally intoxicated when the officer pulled your boat over, but by the time they take you onto their boat, reach the shore, dock their boat, tie it up, put you in their police cruiser and take you to a police station, your blood alcohol level may now indicate you are. 

A criminal law attorney can help you fight your BWI charges -- you can discover more here. These charges are difficult to win based on the many defenses that surround these cases. A great criminal law attorney can present one or more defenses, which can place enough reasonable doubt in the minds of a judge or jury to help you be found not guilty. 


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