Everyone has heard of a DUI — Driving Under the Influence — but have you heard of a BUI — Boating Under the Influence? Those who enjoy taking their boat out on the water should keep reading to not only learn how to avoid a BUI, but what to do if you find yourself charged with one.

What is a BUI?

“BUI” stands for Boating Under the Influence. Many of the same laws apply to BUIs as they do DUIs. One can be charged with a BUI if they’re found to be driving a boat with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) higher than or equal to 0.008 percent. If those on the boat and the driver of the boat are clearly intoxicated, the boat may be stopped. You have the right to refuse a blood alcohol content test, but doing so may result in penalties such as fines.

Of course, it is important to note that like DUI laws, BUI laws differ from state to state. Make sure to check the provisions in your state before taking your boat out on the water.

Avoiding A BUI

There are many tips and tricks you can use to avoid being charged with a BUI.

  • Select a Designated Driver

If you get too intoxicated to steer the boat, make sure you have someone sober on the boat with a boating license than can take over in your place. It is best to have this conversation before you head out on the water.

  • Wait to Drink After the Ride

You can drastically cut down on your chances of being arrested for a BUI if you don’t take any alcoholic beverages with you on your boat. The alcohol can wait — and it is certainly worth enjoying possible jail time and the legal fees associated with a BUI charge.

  • Limit your Alcohol Intake

If you or your party insist on bringing alcohol onto the boat, try limiting your alcohol intake so your blood alcohol content doesn’t go over the legal limit. Ask someone else to watch your drinking habits to ensure that you stay out of trouble’s way.

What to Do if Arrested for a BUI

If you are arrested for boating under the influence, there are some steps you can take to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.

  • Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney.

With the rising popularity of boating, many criminal defense firms, like Truslow & Truslow, have adapted their practice to include BUI charges. Don’t try to represent yourself — contact someone with experience and the expertise to handle your case.

  • Refuse the Breath Test.

You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, and many legal experts recommend you do so. You will likely lose your license for a period of time, but many say this is the best course of action to secure a good outcome for your case.

Next time you and your family go out in your boat, keep the above tips in mind to avoid a BUI and help yourself if you do find yourself arrested.