Whether behind the wheel of a truck or a lobster boat, penalties for operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol are generally the same in Maine. Law enforcement officers may arrest and charge individuals found with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% or more with an Operating Under the Influence offense. One such incident concerned a lobster boat involved in a collision with a recreational craft in the waterways south of Deer Isle.
Members of the Coast Guard boarded the lobster boat to conduct an investigation of the crash. As reported by the Bangor Daily News, the lobster boat’s 22-year-old driver was suspected of operating the watercraft while under the influence. The Coast Guard officials called the local sheriff’s office to have a deputy administer the BAC test. The boater failed the test and received a summons.
U.S. Coast Guard may assist local law enforcement
While at sea, members of the U.S. Coast Guard who suspect an individual of operating a boat while intoxicated may either make an arrest or dispatch local law enforcement officials. Checkpoints could be set up in the waterways to randomly catch boaters who are speeding or intoxicated. Coast Guard officials also have the authority to step onto a boat for an inspection if there is probable cause to believe an intoxicated individual is operating the craft.
OUI charges may also result while operating a canoe or a kayak
The Pine Tree state prohibits boaters from operating any type of watercraft while under the influence. Even though canoes and kayaks do not generally come with motors, an individual may face a charge of OUI if found operating one while intoxicated. An exception to the rule may include situations in which a canoe or kayak remained permanently docked with no intention of its operator moving it.
Boating under the influence may result in the loss of a driver’s license in addition to a revoked boat registration. Increased fines and jail time might result in the absence of a strong defense to counteract accusations of wrongdoing.