Who doesn’t like to go out on the water with a couple of friends, hang out, have a few drinks, maybe drop a line in the water? The coast guard and local law enforcement, that’s who. We all know about getting a DUI while driving under the influence, but did you know there is such thing as a BUI? A BUI or Boating Under the Influence charge is pretty much what you would expect. If you are operating a boat with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or above, or you are under the influence of illegal substances while operating a boat, you can be arrested for a BUI. Not only can you be arrested for one, the consequences can be just as severe as getting a DUI while driving a vehicle.
In all honesty, you can get charged with doing almost anything involving alcohol and a vehicle. There are even grounds for a DUI while riding a bicycle. A BUI is dangerous for a couple of reasons, one of these being boaters fatigue. Boaters fatigue is a condition created from the heat, noise, and wind of being on the water. All combined it can make you feel, as the name suggested, fatigued. It can be difficult to fully focus and you will feel worn out. If you have any alcohol in your system, the effects of it can become even more apparent. One beer while suffering from boat fatigue can have you acting like you drank three. The real issue here is that boaters fatigue can make you pilot a boat the same way alcohol does.
How do you get pulled over for suspicion of a BUI? The coast guard is one organization that can demand you bring your vehicle to a stop and check for a BUI. Local law enforcement will also tend to have a boat of some sort to use as well. With all the smartphones and the radios used by many boats, news of someone operating a boat dangerously can spread quickly. When you consider the fact that boats tend to have a name printed on them they are also not hard to find. There might be 50 red Toyota Corollas on the road, but there is only one fishing boat with the name “Bassinator” on the back of it in large print.
The best way to avoid getting a BUI is to be careful with what you drink while on the water and to avoid the effects of boaters fatigue. Know your limits and don’t push your time on the water too far. If you are stopped and charged with a BUI, waste no time contacting Kip Miller of Koleilat & Miller to handle your case and combat the charge. Otherwise, you will be facing some steep financial and legal consequences.