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BUI Laws & Penalties

BUI Laws & Penalties

When it comes to drinking and driving, most people can agree – just don’t do it.We are all familiar with the fines, penalties and stigma that are attached to a DUI conviction.

But not everyone is as familiar with what happens to people who choose to drink and operate a boat. Whether someone is operating a canoe, a small boat, or a yacht, you will be subject to punishment if you are found to be Boating Under the Influence (or BUI).

What Happens If Your Boat Is Pulled Over?

If you are suspected of boating while intoxicated, you will be pulled over. Just as if you were suspected of driving under the influence, you will be asked to perform a variety of field sobriety tests. After this time you will be asked to submit to a chemical test (such as a Breathalyzer test) to determine your Blood Alcohol Content (often referred to as BAC).

There is a law known as implied consent. When you get your driver’s license, you agree to be tested for chemicals if you are suspected of driving under the influence. If you refuse to take a chemical test (whether it is breath, blood or urine) your license will automatically be suspended or revoked for a year.

Boating under the influence is no different. If you refuse to get tested for you BAC level, you will lose both your driving and boating privileges. This refusal will also affect you when you go to trial.

There is also a term known as “presumption of guilt”. Basically this means that if you are found to have a BAC of .08% or more you are presumed to be guilty of boating under the influence, and you will be arrested.

Penalties You May Face If Convicted

If you are found guilty of boating under the influence, you will be subject to hefty fines, which vary from state to state. Jail time and probation may also be considered, especially if you have been arrested because of a BUI or DUI in the past.

It is easy to avoid being arrested for Boating Under the Influence – don’t drink before operating a boat. This will keep you from paying steep fines, jail time and more. It will also help you save lives.

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