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What is boating under the influence?

With the warmer weather closing in on our area, people are going to be hitting the public waterways to enjoy a day of fun on the water. Some of these people might decide to enjoy some alcohol as part of their experience. It is vital for anyone who is combining watersports with alcohol to understand the boating under the influence laws in New York. These laws are meant to help keep everyone on the waterways a little safer since BUI-related accidents can cause serious injury or death.

What is boating under the influence?

Boating under the influence covers all watercraft that can be operated on the waterways. This includes personal watercraft, sailboats, sailboards, fishing boats, yachts and other boats. Anyone who is operating the watercraft can be charged with a BUI if they have a blood alcohol concentration that exceeds the legal limit for their category.

What are the legal limits for a BUI?

The legal limits for BUI are similar to those of driving a motor vehicle. For anyone who hasn't reached the legal drinking age of 21 years old, the limit is .02 percent. For adults who can legally consume alcohol, the limit is .08 percent. For commercial watercraft operators, the limit is .04 percent.

What are the consequences for BUI?

The consequences for BUI can include civil fines and criminal charges. If there was an accident involved, it might be possible to face prison time.

Anyone who has been accused of BUI has the right to fight the charges in court. Understanding the laws pertaining to BUI and learning your options can help you decide how you want to proceed.

Source: FindLaw, "State Boating Under the Influence Blood Alcohol Levels," accessed April. 03, 2015

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