With summer fully underway, it’s not uncommon to hear of more drinking and driving arrests on Garden State roadways. And, with these warm and sunny days, boaters are out in droves enjoying the refreshing sea air and inland waterways. What is also a given during the summertime months is an increase in drunken boating enforcement.
Known as BUI (or boating under the influence), local and state law enforcement and public safety officers are on the prowl for skippers of watercraft who may be operating their boats while impaired by alcohol, prescription medication or other, sometimes illicit drugs (also referred to as controlled dangerous substances or CDS). As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my firm is well versed in the various state laws and legal statutes related to driving a car or boat while intoxicated.
The same standards used in the enforcement of drunk driving laws for automobile drivers apply to that of boaters. Every captain of a watercraft should consider the implications of boating while intoxicated, just as every motorist needs to take into account the potential consequences of driving a car while impaired by beer, wine, hard liquor or doctor-prescribed medication (drug DUI), even marijuana and cocaine.
Whether you are in Atlantic, Ocean or Cape May, driving drunk on a New Jersey road or piloting your fishing or pleasure boat while intoxicated; either way you could be cited for DWI. A boater whose blood-alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit of 0.08 percent can be arrested and charged with BUI. And the same applies to drug DUI and breath test refusal when on the water.
A news article a while back should be a reminder to all those who think that BUI happens to other people. Apparently the skipper of a powerboat incorrectly navigated his craft right into a nearby gazebo, which then led to the man being charged with BUI. And this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill speed boat, but a 40-foot Formula powerboat that New Jersey State Police said hit a local resident’s outdoor gazebo on a Saturday evening.
Based on news reports, David McDermott was piloting the 40-foot high-performance speed boat when the craft allegedly ran aground on a sandy beach portion of a local property along Cove Road West in Berkeley Twp. The watercraft reportedly struck a gazebo on the grounds, although no mention was made as to the estimated speed of the boat at the time of the BUI accident.
According to police, McDermott was navigating along a stretch of the Toms River when for some reason the boat left the waterway and careened into the adjacent lot. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident, which occurred at half-past ten that evening.
State Police were apparently called to the scene and found McDermott, his wife and the boat land-locked with damage to the gazebo in evidence. No one was injured in the crash, Berkeley Township Patrolman John Fosbre said Saturday night. Based on police reports, the boat was headed in an easterly direction along the Toms River, going toward Barnegat Bay. The craft then veered to port, hitting the beach and continuing up onto the sandy shoreline.
According to news reports the boat ended up less than 50 feel from a residential structure on that property and about 15 feet from a public road in Bayville, NJ. At the time of the news article, the New Jersey State Police were still conducting an accident investigation and the boat was due to be towed off the property and back into the Toms River the next day. McDermott was reportedly charged with boating DWI.
Powerboat Driver Who Crashed Into Gazebo Charged With DWI, Patch.com, June 20, 2011