Consequences of a Boating Under the Influence Charge

With summer in full swing, more and more boats and personal watercraft are on North Carolina's waterways. But, while each and every one of these crafts are filled with people looking for a fun and leisurely way to spend the day, all too often one boater's drinking can ruin the fun. In severe cases, they can even be charged with a boating under the influence (BUI) charge.

But, what is a boating under the influence charge and what are its consequences? Here, our drunk driving attorney in Shallotte NC explains.

BUI Basics

The U.S. Coast Guard enforces strict BUI regulations in an effort to prevent and/or minimize the possibility that an intoxicated person will operate a vessel on the water. As a result, criminal and civil laws are used to help discourage boaters from operating a boat or watercraft while drunk or under the influence of narcotics.

How is a Drunk Boater Charged With a BUI?

On the waterways, federal and/or state authorities have the ability to pull an operator of a boat or other watercraft over, much in the way police offers pull over drunk drivers on the road. It's important to note that a variety of factors can affect one's ability to navigate a vessel on the water, including exposure to heat, sun, noise, wind, glare, and even the motion of the boat on the water. But, in cases where alcohol and drugs are also involved, one's ability to safely operate a vessel can be severely affected, putting themselves and others at risk.

If a law enforcement official believes a boater to be operating their vessel while intoxicated or under the influence, the boat will be pulled over and the operator subjected to a sobriety test. If the boater fails the test, he or she may be charged with a BUI.

What are the Consequences of a BUI?

The U.S. Guard reports that boating fatalities increase by 34% whenever alcohol or narcotics are involved. With the number of boating accidents on the rise, BUI convictions are becoming more commonplace and the laws that govern them even stricter.

Today, if you're charged and convicted of a BUI, you will have a criminal record. No longer are these cases being resolved using a simple traffic ticket or fine. First-time offenders will usually have their boating licenses suspended or revoked. Repeat offenders will face even stricter consequences that could even affect their driving privileges and insurance premiums.

If a commercial boater is charged with a BUI, the consequences can be even more severe. They may not only lose their license, but they could even stand to lose their livelihood.

Injured in a BUI Boating Accident? Call The Rodzik Law Group Today!

If you were recently involved in a boating accident that was caused by another boater who was charged with a BUI, call The Rodzik Law Group today at 910-762-1199 to schedule a free initial consultation with our drunk driving attorney in Shallotte NC. We can help you get the justice you deserve and help you get the damages you need to get your life back on track.

At The Rodzik Law Group, we offer free initial consultations and you don't pay unless we win your case. Accident cases involving BUIs can be complex and often time limitations apply, so don't wait - call now!