Arrested for Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) in Denton County?
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Our state has more miles of inland waterways than any other state. Add this to our beautiful lakes and beaches and you'll soon realize just how much water with which Texans have been blessed. Many people take advantage of this by traveling the waterways with boats and jet-skis.
Unfortunately, some people take these blessings for granted and risk their lives and the lives of others by boating while drunk. This is not only a serious crime; it is also a real danger to everyone on the water. In fact, alcohol is the direct cause of at least 20% of all deadly boating accidents. If you have been accused of a BWI, you will need a skilled Denton County BWI attorney to help defend your innocence.
Unlike a DWI stop, a law enforcement officer can stop your boat at any time for a safety check. While these stops would normally be illegal, the Texas legislature has given these officers this right in order to help our state stop having the most boat-related fatalities nationwide. While the constitutionality of this law may be questionable, it is still law, which means law enforcement will not hesitate to invoke this right. This is one thing our team at the Law Offices of Tim Powers cannot change.
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You do have rights during onboard safety checks. It is important to remember these rights if you are stopped while boating. You may refuse to take the portable breathalyzer test and the "float test" –a field sobriety test designed for boaters. The officer will most likely try to threaten you with arrest if you refuse to take these tests, but just like a DWI traffic stop, by the time he has requested you take these tests, you will probably be arrested, whether or not you take them.
Every Denton County BWI attorney agrees on this point and we encourage you to never take the following:
- Float test
- Field sobriety test
- Portable breathalyzer test
At this point, the officer may decide to bring you into the station to take a chemical test. Always opt for the breathalyzer as it is the easiest for your defense lawyer to dispute in court. Do not refuse the test because it will still be held against you as an admission of guilt and you will lose your boating license for six months – a BWI penalty you will not incur if you take the test. If your results are over 0.08%, you will be charged with a BWI. Do not worry though; the Law Offices of Tim Powers can help you fight these accusations.
Without a good drunk driving defense in Denton County, Texas, you may be found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor and be forced to pay $2,000 in fines and subject to a 72 hour jail sentence.
Don't take chances with your BWI defense. Contact our offices today.
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