The Fourth of July is just around the corner and you can bet the Lee County Sheriff’s office has plans for DUI checkpoints.
The marine division will also be on the water trying to make arrests for “boating under the influence”. Our Ft. Myers criminal defense firm actually represented a man in a kayak who was arrested for boating under the influence. He was in a kayak, with his dog who was wearing a vest” simply paddling around, watching the fireworks….and having a few brews….and got arrested. If you are on the water for the day and drinking beer you can count on the fact that when you get boarded for the so called “safety check”, they will be looking for empty beer cans or liquor bottles. Over the course of a day, three or four people can easily drink a case of beer, and nothing looks worse that a cooler full of empties. They will try and escort you to shore and ask you do to field sobriety exercises. That is a mistake. Do not do the exercises. There are many reasons your eyes may be red, your face flushed and your balance unsteady. Do not give them the missing link with an admission or field test.
Another issue when it comes to driving under the influence and boating under the influence is “who is actually driving”. If you are going through a checkpoint, that may not be an issue. If you are in a boat, that is quite another thing. The owner of the boat is not necessarily the pilot of the boat. They have to prove who is actually running the boat. What if no one admits who is driving? What is they did not see who was actually at the wheel?
You can count on the fact that over the Fourth weekend there will also be a few hit and run incidents. If they also involve alcohol or death or serious injury, serious felony charges can result. If you were involved in a hit and run and you are reading this, you may be under investigation. There are now cameras everywhere. Just because you got away then doesn’t mean they are not still trying to identify you. Call us immediately if you fled the scene. All inquiries are confidential and free. Never make a statement without talking to a lawyer that is experienced in representing hit and run cases.
All lawyers are not created equal.