Now-famous environmental advocate, Erin Brokovich, has been arrested for boating under the influence of alcohol at Lake Mead’s Las Vegas Boat Harbor. A game warden observed signs that Mrs. Brockovich was intoxicated while she was docking her boat. After further investigation, Mrs. Brokovich was found to have a B.A.C. of above 0.08 and was taken into custody.
Erin Brokovich became famous following a Hollywood adaptation of her involvement with one of the biggest lawsuits ever recorded. Mrs. Brokovich and her firm were able to secure a $333 million settlement, one of the largest class-action sums ever awarded in the United States.
Boating Under the Influence
Although driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs has been generally accepted as being dangerous and irresponsible, boating under the influence has yet to gain the same level of public support. According to the Boating Safety Resource Center, drinking while operating a boat is actually more dangerous than drinking while operating a motor-vehicle. The motion, noise, spray, and other aspects of operating and enjoying a boat ride have been known to increase a person’s impairment. This can result in becoming more intoxicated than one would normally expect when drinking on land.
Penalties and Fines
Different penalties and fines await those who are convicted of boating while under the influence of alcohol depending on the state in which they are arrested. In California, if convicted of BUI a person may face jail, a prison sentence, and/or expensive fines. If a person was previously arrested for a DUI and is later arrested for BUI, they may add additional penalties to that person’s punishment. Although prosecuted similarly to a DUI, those arrested for BUI will not usually have their driver’s license automatically suspended.
Legitimate Claim to Fame?
Studies in recent years have been contradictory to Mrs. Brokovich’s claim to fame: that the chemicals contained within the water in the city of Hinkley did not directly contribute to higher cancer rates, injuries, and deaths of those who inhabited the area. For those who have developed a positive reputation in their community, a conviction or arrest for DUI or BUI can result in a negative publicity blow for the person arrested. This recent arrest may result in questions resurfacing challenging the legitimacy of the lawsuit and will most likely decrease the overwhelming public support previously felt by Mrs. Brokovich.
California Legal Assistance for BUI
If you or your loved one is facing charges for BUI in California, it may be in your best interest to speak with one of our experienced California BUI attorneys. We offer a free legal case evaluation for anyone who has been arrested or charged and will provide you with resources to get back on your feet.
Call 949-250-6097 to speak with a MacGregor & Collins, LLP legal representative today.