What is a BUI

What Happens If You Get a DUI On A Boat?

Boating and drinking are popular recreational activities enjoyed by many. However, it’s crucial to understand. This article will delve into the topic of Boating Under the Influence (BUI), its consequences, and what happens if you get a DUI on a boat.

What is a BUI?

Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is a criminal offense that involves operating a boat or other watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants.

BUIs are not limited to alcohol but can also result from using drugs or the use of prescription or over-the-counter medicines that can affect mental clarity.

BUI vs. DUI: The Similarities

BUIs are very similar to Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenses. Both involve operating a vehicle while impaired, and both can lead to serious legal consequences. The Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limits for BUIs are typically similar to those for DUIs, although some states do raise the limit to 0.10%.

What Happens If You Get a DUI On A Boat?

Legal Consequences

The legal consequences of a BUI can be severe and may include:

  • Fines: Individuals charged with a BUI may face large fines, depending on how severe the offense is and the driver’s blood alcohol content.
  • Jail Time: In some cases, a BUI can lead to jail time.
  • License Suspension: Since boating requires a separate license specifically for boats, drivers could face the potential of having their boating license revoked.
  • Education Programs: Courts may require a driver to complete a boating safety course or alcohol education class before being able to get back their license.

Impact on Commercial Operators

Commercial boat operators who repeatedly operate their vessels while intoxicated could see their livelihoods destroyed. Unlike recreational boaters, commercial captains are responsible for the well being of passengers and crew.

Multiple convictions for boating under the influence can lead to permanent revocation of a commercial vessel’s license. A suspended license means a captain cannot legally carry paying customers, essentially putting their business out of commission.

The stakes are high for commercial operators who ignore regulations against BUIs. Just a single drunk captain can sink an entire enterprise.

BUI Laws by State

BUI laws vary by state. Here’s a brief overview of the BUI laws in some states:

StateLegal Blood Alcohol LimitPenalties
Alabama0.08%Large fines and/or jail time plus suspension of operator’s certification
Alaska0.08%Large fines, jail time, and a conviction may affect your driver’s license
Arizona0.08%Large fines and possible jail time
California0.08% if 21 or olderLarge fines, jail time, and potential suspension of a driver’s license
Florida0.08%Large fines, jail time, and possible felony conviction


Boating under the influence is a very serious crime with significant consequences. It’s essential to understand the laws and penalties associated with BUI in your state to ensure safe and legal boating practices. Remember, the best way to avoid a BUI is to designate a sober operator or refrain from consuming alcohol while operating a boat.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with a legal professional in your area if you are facing a BUI.

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Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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