BUI Zero Tolerance
Have you ever heard of BUI? That stands for Boating Under the Influence, and it can lead to dangerous conditions on the water. Whether you are operating a canoe, fishing boat or yacht, you can be arrested if you are found to be under the influence or drugs or alcohol.
The Effects Of Alcohol Are Stronger When Boating
Alcohol affects people differently on the water than on land. If you are in a boat, you are probably in the sun. The heat, the glare from the water, the noise of the engine and the vibration of the boat can lead to a condition known as “boater’s hypnosis”. This condition can cause fatigue naturally. It can also intensify the effects of alcohol.
It is illegal for people over the age of 21 to drink and drive if their Blood Alcohol Content (known as BAC) is over a certain limit. This limit is .08% in most states. While adults can be arrested if their BAC limit is lower and their driving is impaired, they will not necessarily be arrested.
But because people under the age of 21 are not allowed to drink, they can be arrested for having any alcohol in their system at all. This is known as the Zero Tolerance law. If they are found guilty of drinking and driving, their driver’s license will be suspended for at least 6 months.
Zero Tolerance For Underage Drinkers
The same is true of boating while under the influence of alcohol. Even though you are not on a road, you can still be pulled over and asked to submit to a field sobriety test and a chemical test to determine your BAC level.
What if you refuse? When you received your driver’s license, you signed an agreement saying that you will take a chemical test (breath, blood or urine) if you are suspected to be under the influence while driving. This is known as “Implied Consent”. It also applies if you are operating a boat.
If you are under 21 and are convicted of operating a boat with any alcohol in your system, you will not only lose your license, but you will also be subject to heavy fines.
Boating under the influence and driving under the influence are both very serious charges.
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