Just like it is a criminal offense to drive a vehicle in California while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), it is also an offense to operate a boat, plane, or even ride a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol. As with a California DUI, being arrested for boating, flying, or bicycling/cycling under the influence can affect one’s driving record with both the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the National Drivers Register. There are notable differences, however, between a DUI and a California BUI, FUI or CUI and it is wise for those arrested for such offenses to seek out experienced legal representation from a skilled California defense attorney who is well versed in such cases.
Under California’s Harbors and Navigation Code boating under the influence (BUI) is defined as having a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08% for recreational vessels and .04% for commercial water craft. California’s statutes set a zero BAC level when operating water skis and aquaplanes. The consequences faced by those arrested for California Boating Under the Influence include fines, jail time, and probation. Furthermore, as with DUI’s, BUI’s are “priorable,” meaning that such convictions will count the same as a DUI offense that occurred within a 10 year period. For instance, if a California DUI offender is convicted of DUI 5 years before being arrested for the BUI, the current BUI offense will be counted as a second offense (or vice versa) and enhanced penalties may be imposed.