Boating Under the Influence

Boating Under the Influence Attorneys

Legal Representation to Protect Your Rights

Many individuals know that driving a car under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is illegal. In an attempt to keep the roads safe, police officers often pull over drivers they believe are driving recklessly. However, did you know that similar rules apply for the water? A person can convicted of boating under the influence when they operate a boat or aquatic vehicle.

Under California law, an individual who operates any vessel (including a boat) while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is in violation of vehicle code section 23152. This law articulates the similarities between a DUI and a BUI. According to the section, a person is in violation if:

  • Their blood alcohol content level is over 0.08%
  • Driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC over 0.04%
  • Operating a boat with a BAC over 0.01% if you’re younger than 21

Much like a DUI, a boating under the influence charge is serious and requires immediate legal attention. If you have been charged, contact our leading Rancho Cucamonga DUI attorneys today for a free care review.

BUI Criminalized Under California Harbors and Navigation Code 655

Unlike DUI’s, boating under the influence charges are categorized under California Harbors and Navigation Code 655. The California statutes articulate that

(a) No person shall use any vessel or manipulate water skis, an aquaplane, or a similar device in a reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. The department shall adopt regulations for the use of vessels, water skis, aquaplanes, or similar devices in a manner that will minimize the danger to life, limb, or property consistent with reasonable use of the equipment for the purpose for which it was designed.
(b) No person shall operate any vessel or manipulate water skis, an aquaplane, or a similar device while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug.
(c) No person shall operate any recreational vessel or manipulate any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device if the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more in his or her blood.
(d) No person shall operate any vessel other than a recreational vessel if the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more in his or her blood.

Like other crimes in California, a BUI is considered a “wobbler.” This means that the offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, given the level of intoxication and the extent of damage or injury caused.

Penalties for a misdemeanor can include:

  • Up to one year of jail time
  • Up to a $1,000 dollar fine
  • License suspension if convicted repeatedly

Penalties for a felony can include:

  • Up to two or three years of prison time
  • Up to a $5,000 fine

The consequences for these charges can be escalated if someone was injured or killed. That is why it is imperative that you seek strong legal representation for a boating under the influence charge.

Call Our Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

At Chung & Ignacio, Attorneys at Law, we understand that people make mistakes. We are human and a moment of bad judgement should not haunt you for the rest of your life. That is why we fight aggressively to maintain our client’s rights and reputation. If you have been charged with a BUI, contact our Rancho Cucamonga BUI defense attorneys today. We will thoroughly look into your case and come up with a strategy best suited for you.

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