OVI / DUI & Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
Many people, including avid boaters, are unaware that there is a law against boating under the influence. There is, and it's serious. Ohio law makes it illegal for a person to operate (or physically control) a boat (or other vessel) if the person is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The law also makes it illegal for a person to operate (or physically control) a boat (or other vessel) with a prohibited concentration of alcohol and/or drugs. The legal limits for operating a boat are the same as those for operating a vehicle (e.g., .08 for people over 21 and .02 for people under 21).Investigation Of Boating Under The Influence (BUI)
Law enforcement officers come into contact with boaters for various reasons. For example, another boater may report your activity to law enforcement, or an officer may simply choose to inspect your boat. If, during that contact with you, the officer has a reason to believe you may be boating under the influence, the officer will conduct a B.U.I. investigation. For a B.U.I. investigation, an officer uses the same investigative techniques as those used in a DUI/OVI case. Those techniques include field sobriety tests, breath tests, urine tests, and blood tests. Refusing a breath/blood/urine test will lead to a one-year suspension of your right to operate and/or register a watercraft vessel in the state of Ohio.Penalties For Boating Under The Influence (BUI) In Ohio
B.U.I. is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, so a person found guilty of B.U.I. in Ohio faces up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and up to five years of community control (probation). Some of these penalties are mandatory. For a first offense, the mandatory jail sentence is at least three days (or a driver intervention program), and the mandatory fine is at least $150. In addition, refusal to consent to a breath/blood/urine test results in ineligibility to operate or register a watercraft for one year.Penalty Enhancement For Multiple Offenses Of Boating Under The Influence
If a person has previously been convicted of B.U.I. (or DUI/OVI), the minimum mandatory penalties for a B.U.I. conviction are increased. For a second offense within ten years, the minimum mandatory jail sentence is 10 days. For a third offense within ten years, the minimum mandatory jail sentence is 30 days. Likewise, if a person has a conviction for Boating Under the Influence and is later convicted for DUI/OVI in an automobile, the minimum mandatory penalties for the DUI/OVI are increased. In addition, repeat violations can result in the person being included in a list of habitual D.U.I. offenders.Representation For Boating Under The Influence (BUI) In Columbus And Central Ohio
If you have been charged with Boating Under The Influence (B.U.I.) in Columbus, Ohio or the central Ohio area and hope to avoid the consequences of a B.U.I. conviction, contact an attorney with expertise in DUI/OVI defense. I have that expertise, and I have experience defending clients charged with B.U.I. in Franklin County, Delaware County, and other courts in the central Ohio area. Based on my expertise, experience, and elite service, my fees are at the high end of the fee scale. I charge flat fees, so you will know the total cost of my services before my representation begins. For more information about me, see my profile, and for more information about my practice, see the firm overview. If you would like to discuss how I can help with your B.U.I. case, EMAIL ME or call me at 614-717-1177 to arrange a free consultation.