Summertime is in full swing, which means that ocean and lake traffic is much heavier. It also means that the potential for a collision on the water is considerably higher. Although they’re not as common as automobile or even pedestrian accidents, watercraft accidents do happen. If you’re facing charges for a crash involving your boat or your jet skis, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities.
According to the US Department of Homeland Security, there were 4,064 boating accidents in 2014, 548 of which were fatal and resulted in 610 deaths. The report also revealed that the peak months for these watercraft accidents were June, July and August. These numbers include all types of personal watercraft accidents.
One of the primary factors in these accidents is the use of alcohol. It’s important to remember that operating a boat while intoxicated is just as dangerous as driving a car while under the influence of alcohol, and may even be more dangerous given the potential for drowning by all parties involved. It’s also important to remember that the state takes Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) offenses just as seriously as DWI crimes, so you need an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney to help you face these charges. If convicted of a BWI charge, you will lose your driver’s license, as well as your boating license, for three months.
The bottom line is that accidents happen. Regardless of whether it’s right or wrong, alcohol and summertime fun have gone hand-in-hand for years. Millions of people enjoy leisurely drinking as part of their efforts to unwind during their summer vacations. When things go too far, however, you could easily wind up paying dearly for a one-time mistake or a simple lapse in judgment. If you’re facing BWI charges in New Jersey, let a knowledgeable attorney help.
John W. Tumelty has years of successful experience helping clients in New Jersey overcome their DWI and BWI charges. If you’re facing serious penalties related to a BWI offense, now is not the time to settle for an inexperienced attorney. Contact Mr. Tumelty and his associates today for a free consultation.