Boating Under the Influence and DUI- an Equal Threat to Society

Driving under the influence is a problem invading every State in America. Drinking and driving could be very dangerous and cause a wide number of road traffic accidents and increase the mortality rate. Some might think that DUI laws only imply on operating road motor vehicles, but that is not true. The legal definition of a motor vehicle include a boat powered by an engine meaning that boating under the influence is also a misdemeanor faced with serious charges.

Boating under the influence definition

BUI means boating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Several states, including New York, have recently approved on laws that intensify the penalties for BUI because of its dangerous impacts on innocent lives. Several articles reported stories about boaters who were jailed for injuring or killing passengers on their boat while operating under the influence. That is why NY State decided to bring its BUI laws in line with its driving under the influence (DUI) laws.

The Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) for BUI is set at 0.08%, the same level as that for a DUI. For underage drunk boaters, the same zero tolerance laws are applied; meaning that a minor who operates a boat can be charged with BUI with a BAC level of as little as 0.02%.

Penalties for Boating Under the Influence

Just as for DUI, the first Boat under the Influence will be considered as a misdemeanor and the accused person will have to pay a fine, get his boat license suspended for 6 months or more. The second BUI is more of a felony than a misdemeanor. Considered as a class E felony, the driver will be facing jail in addition to the fine and license revocation.

Aggravated sentences and penalties will be applied specifically after a repeated conviction within a period of ten years, a high BAC reaching 0.18% and fatal incidents pursuing the drinking such as the killing of innocent people, serious body injury or property damages. In all stated conditions, the boat driver will have to face a certain jail sentence, pay a higher monetary fine, and risk losing his boat license permanently.

Source: http://alerts.nationalsafetycommission.com

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