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How does boating under the influence work in California?

Dale Gribow Dec. 17, 2014

When you think about drinking and operating and vehicle, almost everyone will immediately picture someone driving a car after having too much to drink at a bar. However, there are many cases where an individual has a bit too much to drink while out on his or her boat. This can lead to a complicated charge known as boating under the influence, and in the state of California, this BUI charge can come as the result of numerous actions.

First and foremost, the traditional DUI limit pertains to BUIs. You can’t operate a vehicle if your blood alcohol content exceeds the 0.08 legal limit.

There are two other ways that an individual can receive a BUI. One way is if the individual is a minor. This boating rule is zero tolerance: if the minor has a blood alcohol level that meets or exceeds 0.01, they are in violation of the law. A minor isn’t even allowed to water ski if they have a BAC of 0.01.

The other way a person can receive a boating under the influence charge is if they are a commercial operator of a vessel. In this case, the individual’s blood alcohol level can’t exceed 0.04.

There are many penalties and consequences associated with a BUI charge, and there can be life-long consequences to such a charge. Anyone who is accused of such an offense, needs to consider their response, and they should consult with an experienced attorney to ensure their case is being handled properly.