BUI (Boating Under the Influence) and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) are two common offenses that operators of motorized vehicles can obtain. Both have very serious consequences as they can put other people’s lives at risk and cause severe damage. All drivers and boaters should be aware of the similarities and differences between these two charges, and what they should do when faced with an offense.
A BUI and DUI offense have many similarities. Both have the same required blood alcohol content percentages (BAC) to be charged which is normally .08%, and both violations can be added to a person’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) record as points. Too many points on your record means the DMV can take actions such as suspensions or revocations of your license. Also, both charges can result in monetary fines, a time of probation, and even jail time if found guilty. Most of the more serious penalties occur with multiple offenses, a sign that someone cannot fix their behavior.
The differences between a BUI and DUI are scarce, due to their closely related nature, but they do exist. First, while a driver of an automobile is very clear, the operator of a boat can sometimes be hard to spot. Therefore, the person in charge of the vessel is often held responsible for the BUI offense. Simply put, if you were operating the boat in any capacity, you can be charged with a BUI. Another difference is that officers have less restrictions on boarding a vessel than they do a car. While probable cause is needed to search a vehicle, officers will often use other reasons to board a boat, such as inspection or registration checks.
Knowing what to do if you are pulled over is crucial in helping your defense from your Boat Accident Attorney. First off remember that anything you say can be used against you in your case, so while being polite and courteous, identify why you were stopped, listen to the officer’s instructions, and write down the order of events that took place. Also, after the citation, write down a timeline of what drinks you had, along with food, and when. Shortly after the arrest, contact a qualified and experienced boat accident attorney and explain your case and have them review your arrest details. Fighting a BUI can be rather expensive, so knowing what to do and who to look for can help with your results.