Imagine that you go out on the lake with your speedboat, or you take to the seas with your boat. It’s a sunny, beautiful day — but a bit windy. While you’re out there, you enjoy a beer or two. This isn’t out of the ordinary in many boating trips for many people, but on this day, the influence the alcohol has over you feels stronger than ever before.

Eventually you are “pulled over” by the authorities and accused of boating under the influence. You try to explain that your seemingly erratic boating was caused by a number of factors, but the authorities don’t want to hear it.

This is the way that many BUI cases occur, and the thing of it is, there really are many factors that can play into a BUI other than the alcohol. The wind in this case creates choppy waters, making it more difficult for the boater to control his or her vehicle. It even affects the boaters ability to concentrate, as the wind blows in his or her ears and eyes. There’s also the bright sun, causing a glare and making you tired (and hot). All of these physical factors can cause a boater to operate his or her vessel in a less comfortable manner.

“Boater’s fatigue” is the way this is described: multiple external factors affect a person’s ability to properly operate their boat. This is no ironclad excuse, mind you, for a BUI charge. But there can be complicating factors in a BUI case, and those who are accused of such an offense need to remember that just because they have been charged doesn’t mean they are guilty.

Source: FindLaw, “Boating Under the Influence Basics,” Accessed Nov. 21, 2014