Possible BUI Charge To Affect Boaters

By Tom Bacon

In Washington State's list of prohibited conduct, D-U-I would be joined by the offense of B-U-I under a bill proposed by Spokane Valley Republican Senator Mike Padden.

Washington law provides that drivers give their implied consent to either breath or blood testing for alcohol or drugs if an officer stops them and suspects they're under the influence.

But Senator Padden was surprised to find out that there's no such "implied consent" in state laws covering boating.

He said "alcohol consumption is the leading contributor to boating accidents in Washington."

Padden's bill would fill the gap by making boaters subject to the same rules as drivers. Maritime officers could order boaters to undergo breathalyzer or blood tests if they show signs of being under the influence.

After hearing testimony from more than 200 individuals or organizations, his bill sailed through the state senate by unanimous consent and is now waiting for hearings and a vote in the House.
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