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Boating While Intoxicated (BWI)

A charge of boating while intoxicated has some unique problems of proof for the prosecutor.  Poor driving of a boat is not the usual reason for a stop.  The usual reasons involve lighting issues, wake issues or registration issues. Once stopped, law enforcement attempts to obtain evidence as to potential impairment by asking the suspect to perform field sobriety tests.  However, it is difficult to perform the standardized field sobriety tests which road officers administer on the roadways upon the water.  It is difficult to balance when sober on a boat.  Water patrolmen (now highway patrolmen) use different field sobriety tests in the boat to determine impairment.  Hopefully, an audio recording is made by the law enforcement agent.

Boating cases do not presently affect Missouri driving privileges, although they might affect out-of-state licenses.

When we are retained on a bwi case, reports are obtained, audio evidence obtained, as well as witness statements are obtained.  We have had success in both negotiations and trials of these types of cases.



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