Encounters With the Law Don’t Take a Holiday
Like most people, you work hard, and want to enjoy your summer vacation. Unfortunately, cutting loose and living it up does not come without risks. While many of us worry most about the airline losing our luggage, or the trusty van breaking down in the middle of nowhere, few consider an all too common cause of a bad vacation. What happens when you have an unwanted encounter with the law?
Statistics show that the most deadly month to be on the road is August. The fourth of July, not New Year’s eve, is the worst day of the year with respect to fatal road accidents in the United States. Very aware of these facts, law enforcement agencies are out in force during the summer holidays. One drink too many then get behind the wheel, and that dream vacation can become a legal nightmare.
Not to mention that many of our holidays involve some kind of activity near water. In recent years, in response to the rising number of maritime accidents, law enforcement has stepped up waterborne patrols in many jurisdictions. These days, it can be as risky when it comes to legal hassles to be a boater as a motorist on the fourth of July.
So how can you protect yourself while enjoying your vacation? First step is to know the local laws wherever you are spending your holiday. Boating and marine safety laws are often very simple to obey, but also very vigorously punished if taken lightly.
Many vacation spots require the use of life preservers while on the water, and established marine facilities will also require running lights on boats, even rentals. Steering a boat when underage can draw a significant fine in places, and even the most simple fishing expedition can be derailed by lack of the appropriate license, or ignorance of restrictions on catching certain species of fish or fishing in certain areas.
Perhaps the very best measure any vacationer can take is to retain a competent local criminal attorney to act as a guide. Such a criminal lawyer likely knows the focus of law enforcement during holidays, and what crimes a particular jurisdiction frowns most strongly upon. Some places are fairly relaxed overall in their enforcement of alcoholic beverage consumption, but will immediately arrest and prosecute anyone suspected of boating under the influence, even if they are close to the legal limit.
In such cases, local legal counsel can be as valuable as a travel guide. Knowing the number of a good lawyer can make the difference between a prosecution resulting in a fine, jail time, or being let off with a warning. Having an expert to consult on local laws and ordinances prior to heading out on holiday can avoid a great deal of trouble in the first place.