Everyone knows it’s illegal to drive a car drunk, but many people seem to forget about this rule when operating a boat. Some states do not have expressed laws making impaired boating illegal. However, Maryland does. The operator of a watercraft in Maryland can be charged with DUI just the same as when driving a car. In fact, boating DUI’s are serious crimes in Maryland, and they carry steep penalties.
If you’ve been charged with operating a boat or other watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or some other substance (drugs, prescription medications, etc.), you need aggressive legal representation today.
In the State of Maryland, you can get arrested for DUI under the same basic rules as a typical automotive DUI. Technically, the crime is actually called BUI (or “Boating Under the Influence”). There is a different statute that applies, known as the State Boat Act. The law almost mirrors the general DUI statute that applies to vehicles on roadways, with only minor variations.
If you are operating a watercraft, your blood alcohol content (BAC) must be below 0.08%. Otherwise, you can be charged.
A Boating While Under the Influence (BUI) charge can be brought against you for operating any of the following under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination thereof:
You cannot operate a motorized watercraft under any of the following conditions:
Who Makes Boating Under the Influence Arrests in Maryland?
On the waterways, there are different types of law enforcement agencies that enforce the law. Arrests may be made by:
If you get convicted of operating a boat while drunk, you could face as much as a year in prison, or more if you’re a repeat offender. You could also lose the right to operate a watercraft in Maryland waters for as long as a year. In general, here are some of the penalties you could face:
If you weren’t “under the influence,” but were rather just “impaired,” you could face up to 2 months in jail for a first offense and up to a year for each subsequence offense.
If you’re facing a criminal charge for operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Maryland, you need to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer today. The longer you wait, the more likely you will face steep penalties or make a critical error when dealing with police and prosecutors, which could lead to even worse charges being brought against you. Don’t take chances with your rights; call the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. today to schedule a consultation with an experienced DUI/BUI lawyer.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
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10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044