Seafair Impaired Boating Emphasis begins August 1st on Lake Washington

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beer Boat
Photo from

The Washington State Patrol and cooperating agencies are preparing for the annual Impaired Boating Emphasis, August 1-3, 2014, as part of the Seafair activities on Lake Washington.

City, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies will converge in an effort to improve water safety through impaired boating enforcement.

The WSP Mobile Impaired Driving Unit (MIDU), temporary detention facilities, and prisoner support vehicles will be available to assist in the processing of boaters suspected of Boating Under the Influence (BUI) or other crimes involved with unsafe usage of watercraft.

Boating Under the Influence is similar to Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in that the per se legal limit is .08, or under the influence and/or affected by drugs. New BUI laws that went into effect last year include:

  • Makes BUI a gross misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and 364 days in jail.
  • Law enforcement can now require operators, suspected of BUI, to take a breath or blood test.
  • Officers now have authority to issue citations to vessel accidents they did not witness and hold negligent and reckless boaters accountable.


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