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Wisconsin agencies team up to combat boating DUI offenses


When most people imagine a DUI stop they envision a driver pulled over to the side of the road with a cop car parked behind and an officer approaching the driver's side window. While this scene plays out all across Wisconsin throughout the year, during the warm months of summer another kind of DUI stop also brings potential charges against residents operating motor vehicles.

Boating while under the influence of alcohol is a problem for some Wisconsin communities and the state's Department of Natural Resources is working with law enforcement agencies to reduce the incidents of DUI on local waterways. Noting that many people lose track of how much they have had to drink while boating, alcohol-related accidents on both the water and the roads can result when intoxicated boaters leave their vessels and get behind the wheels of their cars on shore.

The initiative to reduce alcohol-related boating and driving accidents is called "Where the Rudder Meets the Road." The initiative is aimed at preventing fatalities and injuries caused by drunk drivers. It is reported more than a third of all accident-related deaths on Wisconsin roads last year involved alcohol.

While the best policy to avoid a DUI charge either on the water or the road is to refrain from drinking before or while operating a vehicle, some residents will still partake in such activities and will face legal consequences for their actions. As previously discussed on this blog, the state is working toward significantly tougher penalties for those who face DUI convictions and individuals facing DUI and other alcohol-related charges may lose certain rights if convicted.

As the Labor Day holiday comes and goes, Wisconsin law enforcement officials will be out in full force to crack down on drinking and driving. Individuals who find themselves with DUI charges either from boating or driving can work with legal professionals to negotiate their charges and develop possible defenses to reduce the consequences of their potential convictions.

Source: ABC WXOW 19 News, "DNR, law enforcement partner for 'Where the Rudder Meets the Road,'" Steffani Nolte, Aug. 19, 2013

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