BUI: Boating Under the Influence
Anyone can be charged for boating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (BUI), just as they can be charged for driving under the influence. It parallels a DUI in many ways through the procedures carried out and the penalties imposed. A BUI charge can have serious consequences such as a jail or prison sentence, educational programs and fines. Due to the nature of the environment and activity involved, a BUI case has its own peculiarities. There are varying kinds of BUIs including a simple BUI, aggravated BUI, BUI with a BAC over the legal limit and one that leads to manslaughter
Boating under the influence can refer to the operation of any watercraft which carries people on water, including water skis. Such things as kayaks, which are propelled using the force of water alone, are exempt from BUI laws. California Harbors and Navigation Code 655 defines the crime of operating a vehicle under the influence, restricting the use of a water vessel from an operator with a BAC concentration of .08% or more, and limiting the use of any vessel besides a recreational one to those with a BAC under .04%.
At Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLP, the first thing we will do is review your case to see where errors may have been made. For example, it can occur that the officer at the scene inaccurately judged you to be impaired by alcohol or drugs. While it is legal to operate a watercraft with a BAC lower than .08%, a police officer need not administer a chemical test in order to deem you guilty of BUI. He or she may instead use field sobriety tests to determine your mental and physical state. After the physical exertion of boating, possibly in heat and sun, and a period of not walking on solid land, your appearance and activity may be misleading. Bloodshot eyes, red skin, and the inability to walk smoothly can all result from boating itself, rather than indicate BUI.
This is just one circumstance that can be investigated and may lead to charges being dismissed or to your acquittal. We are familiar with the many other intricacies of a BUI case and use our knowledge and experience to your benefit however possible. We are interested in the legal, financial and practical effects of your case. We will do all we can to resolve it quickly and endeavor to achieve the best outcome