With all the focus on drunk driving, there is relatively little attention paid to drinking while operating a watercraft. But arrests for boating under the influence (BUI) or DUI on a boat are becoming more and more common.
Boating under the influence or DUI on a boat (BUI) is governed by Title 5 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, entitled Amusements and Sports. As in the case of automobiles, you are guilty of boating under the influence if the State can prove the required elements of one the varying types of BUI under Arizona law.
A Regular Boating Under the Influence applies when an individual operates a watercraft in Arizona:
Extreme Boating Under the Influence occurs when an individual’s BAC exceeds certain levels. In that regard, the Title 5 law contains a virtually identical version of the extreme DUI statute, providing additional penalties if:
Aggravated Boating Under the Influence or Felony Boating Under the Influence may apply where:
Drug Boating Under the Influence occurs if there is any dangerous drug, narcotic drug or other illegal drug including marijuana in your system, other than a drug prescribed by your doctor. However, even in instances of drugs prescribed by a doctor, you may be charged with BUI if law enforcement alleges you are impaired by the prescribed drug (recommended in the case of marijuana).
Commercial Boating Under the Influence occurs when a person operates a commercial watercraft, if you have a BAC of 0.04 or higher.
If you have been charged with Boating Under the Influence, you face penalties that are similar to those for DUI, including fines, jail time and more. A conviction will cost you more than you might think. Many people think that the a DUI on a boat is really not big deal. But this is one of many misconceptions on the subject.
Operating a motorized watercraft while under the influence is a serious charge, and the potential penalties are significant. Protect yourself by hiring an experienced Arizona boating DUI lawyer.
Defenses to Boating Under the Influence are similar to those utilized in defending DUI charges. However, a BUI defense strategy is even more robust as the chaos brought on by alcohol in most lake environments and the inexperience of many of the investigating officers on lakes and rivers throughout Arizona leaves plenty of room for mistakes to be made by law enforcement. Listed below are several of the considerations to discuss with a boating under the influence attorney:
These are just a few of the defenses that may be applicable in your case. For more information about specific defenses that may be applicable to your case, call our office for a free and confidential consultation.
If you have been charged with boating under the influence, we can help. We have represented those charged with BUI throughout the state of Arizona and have experience defending BUIs in all jurisdictions and on all Arizona lakes. Contact the attorneys at Feldman & Royle to schedule a confidential and free consultation with a BUI lawyer.
Yes and no. You can’t get a DUI as DUI requires driving but you can get a BUI or boating under the influence which has similar consequences to a DUI.
The effects of alcohol on the human body are the same whether the person is on land or on water. However, the techniques used by law enforcement to determine the impairing effects of alcohol while boating are much different than on land. Because boating under the influence suspects are commonly on a boat while the investigation is taking place, law enforcement doesn’t have the ability to conduct roadside field sobriety tests. Instead, police will commonly conduct seated field sobriety tests which are far more likely to result in successful defense attacks because they are not standardized.
With a couple of exceptions, boating under the influence penalties are largely the same as for DUI, including jail time, fines, assessments, substance abuse screening, and more.
No. Because BUI involves motorized watercraft and not a motor vehicle, a conviction does not go on your motor vehicle driving record. However, a conviction will go on your criminal record and the penalties for BUI in Arizona are extremely severe.
You are required to provide a blood or breath sample. If an officer has probable cause to believe you are impaired by alcohol or drugs a refusal of a chemical test will normally result in an additional misdemeanor charge pursuant to A.R.S. §5-395(L).
Yes, law enforcement is permitted to place checkpoints on lakes and request that boaters stop in order to investigate possible impairment.
According to the United States Coast Guard, many of the problems associated with alcohol and boating arise because of mistaken beliefs. These beliefs include: