Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can quickly become dangerous. While highways are the most prevalent locations for accidental deaths, the ocean is the second most common. If you are steering a boat, just as with a car, all 50 states consider you legally intoxicated if your blood-alcohol content levels reach 0.08%. The penalties for a BUI (boating under the influence) can be just as serious and severe as a DUI or DWI.
Injury or Instant Revocation
Alcohol affects a person’s judgment, vision, and balance, and this can be especially dangerous on the water because most people do not have as much experience on water as they do on land. A marine environment is unpredictable; The noise of an engine or the strength of a wave can instantly change the circumstances for steering. The outside conditions of sun or wind can also instantly affect the navigation and control of a boat. A person under the influence of drugs or alcohol will have impaired judgment affecting the actions they may take to gain back dominance over not only a huge machine, but the ocean in general. No doubt, the worst effect of someone’s drinking and boating would be that they injure themselves or others. If or when someone gets pulled over, they are at the whim of the state who makes and enforces BUI laws. Like a DUI stop, the operator of the boat must agree to be tested for drugs or alcohol because they are operating a vehicle. Refusal to submit will suspend or revoke the operator’s boating privileges for at least a year.
Consequences After a Conviction
Like a DUI, common repercussions for a BUI include: fines, jail time, community service, and alcohol education programs. They may also have boat operating privileges revoked or suspended. Unlike a DUI, if someone is charged and convicted with a BUI, they may also have to attend boating safety classes. Like a DUI, the charges and penalties depend on the circumstances of the event. Not only are BUI specific laws determined by the state where the offense occurred, but a past history of DUIs or any alcohol related crimes may also be used to harshen the charges therefore the penalties. Whether or not people were harmed or property was damaged also plays a large role in the acceptable punishment.
Like a designated driver for a car, decide who will be the designated boat operator before the ride or drinking begins.
For a free and immediate consultation with Hillsborough County personal injury lawyer Bryan Caulfield, call him at 1-800-535-2529 orcontact him online.