Sailing under the influence (SUI) is outlined under California Harbors and Navigation Code section 655 as the driving under the influence (DUI) law for watercraft. Law enforcement officers will look for intoxicated boaters just as they would look for drunk drivers on the road. A boating under the influence, or BUI charge is very similar to a DUI charge for an individual “operating any vessel or manipulating water skis, an aquaplane or similar device under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or with a .08 or more of alcohol in their blood” by California law. As is the case with a DUI driver in a car, a driver below 21 years of age is subject to zero tolerance laws for BUI, making the underage limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) 0.01 percent.
About Boating Under the Influence
BUI laws resemble California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) and section 23152(b); “under the influence” and “alcohol concentration of .08 percent or greater,” respectively. As is the case with a DUI charge, a BUI conviction will remain on the driver’s record. Consequences if the boat operator is found to be at fault can increase in severity with second, third, and all subsequent convictions.
Similar to commercial vehicle drivers, any person who operates a non-recreational vessel may not at any time have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or greater.
If convicted of BUI, you will face a number of penalties that vary depending on the circumstances of your crime and the number of prior offenses on your record. In the state of California, BUI charges are usually classified as misdemeanors, which carry a possible jail sentence of up to one year, and a fine of up to $1,000. However, BUI cases involving an accident that results in injury or loss of life carry even more serious penalties. These BUI charges are wobblers, meaning they can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. If it is charged as a felony, you could face up to three years in jail.
A BUI conviction will appear similar to a DUI on your DMV record, which means your drivers license is at risk even though you were not driving a motor vehicle at the time of the violation.
Because of the possible consequences, it’s important to seek representation from a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest. Our law firm can help you defend your rights and fight to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
A BUI charge carries punishments similar to that of a DUI charge. The District Attorney and Judge will consider the severity of the charged offense, the driver’s prior record and convictions, and the strengths and weaknesses of each individual case in order to determine final sentencing factors.
Hire an Experienced Orange County Boating Under the Influence Attorney
People arrested for BUI need an Orange County sailing under the influence attorney with an extensive knowledge of the law and the tenacity to effectively handle the matter in court. BUI prosecution and defense are very similar to DUI. Anyone charged with BUI should seek the assistance of a top notch BUI attorney, like the criminal attorneys at The Law Offices of Todd Landgren. If you are facing BUI charges in the Orange County community, don’t go through the legal process alone. Use the contact us page on this website or give us a call at 949-535-1303 today.