When you think of a DUI, you probably imagine someone driving a car or truck while intoxicated. Interestingly, you can get a DUI even if you're on a boat. A boat is a motor vehicle by law, and that means that if you're intoxicated while boating, you're at risk of a DUI, also known as a BUI.
A BUI is treated similarly to a DUI and has the potential to cause you to lose your boating and driver's license. You could face fines and have your insurance rates increase.
Boating while intoxicated is dangerous. The U.S. Coast Guard has reported that boating while intoxicated increases the number of boating fatalities by around 34 percent. In cases where you're caught boating while intoxicated and cause a fatality, you could face a prison sentence.
A BUI isn't only for those ingesting alcohol. Those caught boating while intoxicated by drugs also face BUI charges. The U.S. Coast Guard believes that alcohol is more hazardous when people are on the water, and BUI regulations are there to prevent and reduce the risk of harm to those using the nation's waterways.
Just like on a roadway, state and federal authorities have the right to pull you over when you're in a boat. These officials are particularly interested in stopping those showing signs of intoxication and boater's fatigue, which may include dehydration, increasing the person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Our site has more about boating under the influence and what you need to do if you're arrested. The right defense can help you protect your rights, license and future.