Similar to Wisconsin roadways, there are many people getting behind the “wheel” of a watercraft after consuming alcohol.  According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin ranks third among the states for drunken boating death rates.  Drinking alcohol on Wisconsin’s waterways will result in a Wisconsin BUI.

Determining Intoxication for Wisconsin BUI

In the past, boaters suspected of a Wisconsin BUI were taken to land, given time to acclimate from water to land, and then asked to perform road side field sobriety tests.  However, this took a great deal of time and was unreliable.  Recently, Wisconsin BUI tests have become more common and are used on the water.

Wisconsin BUI Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) – Just like the standardized field sobriety test for road side Wisconsin drunk drivers, the HGN tests for the involuntary jerkiness of the eye.

Wisconsin BUI Finger to Nose (FTN) – While in a seated position, the boater suspected of a Wisconsin BUI holds both arms to the side with all fingers curled except for the pointer finger.  Then the boater alternates hands bringing the finger to their nose.

Wisconsin BUI Palm Pat (PP) – Still in the seated position, the boater holds both arms in front of him with palms together (like the “alligator” motion).  The boater will pat both hands together, first palm-to-palm, twist the top hand and pat palm-to-top while counting one-two, two-two, etc.

Wisconsin BUI Hand Coordination (HC) – This test is much like the Standardized Walk and Turn Test; however, the boater will be in a seated position “stepping” one hand in front of the other for four “steps” beginning at the body and moving forward.  The boater will claps his hands three times, positioning the hands in the last spot and “step” hands back toward the body.  The final position should imitate the starting position.

Dangers of Boating While Intoxicated

Waterways do not have “lanes” like a highway, so there are constant changes in direction.  Not only does the driver have to be aware of where he intends to go, but must also watch all angles and directions for other boaters, skiers, and swimmers.

Hire Wisconsin BUI Defense Attorney Nathan Dineen

Whether on the road or on the water Wisconsin BUI Defense Attorney Nathan Dineen is your best defense against a drunk driving charge.  Contact Attorney Dineen at 877-384-6800 for a Free Case Review.  He is available 24/7 and has offices located in Milwaukee, Germantown, West Bend, Appleton, and Sister Bay, Wisconsin.

Nathan J. Dineen