Only in Alaska. A rafter - not a rapper - will stand trial on a RUI - rafting under the influence, DUI lawyers in California are told.
RUI's are rare DUI charges for floaters in the great state, San Diego drunk driving attorneys note. This rafter was pretty toasted as he navigated the waters through Fairbanks on an inflatable raft over the weekend.
Under Alaska’s DUI law, operating a water craft means to “navigate a vessel used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water for recreational or commercial purposes on all waters, fresh or salt, inland or coastal, inside the territorial limits or under the jurisdiction of the state.”
Alaska’s DUI or BUI law is similar to California's. Operating motor vehicles is similar to operating water craft and airplanes.
Here's the thing. Alaska State Troopers got a complaint of a “heavily intoxicated” man floating down the Chena River near the Parks Highway bridge at 6:40 p.m.. A state wildlife trooper boat came to the scene to find 32-year-old William Modene.
“Modene had been floating on the river for the day and consuming alcoholic beverages the entire time,” troopers claim in the “daily dispatches” log on their website.
At .313%, his BAC was just about 4 times the legal limit for operating a vehicle or vessel.
Modene is from Juneau and was cooperative with troopers, a trait which should help with jurors, say lawyers defending DUI cases.