Category Archives: BUI

5 Important Facts about BUI Laws in Georgia

The boating season is about to begin in earnest in the next few weeks. While boating can make for a great summer day, certain safety and legality measures must be followed. Below are 5 important facts to remember when you’re out on the water.

  1. In terms of Boating Under the Influence (BUI), “boating” includes operating, navigating, steering or driving any moving vessel on the waterways of Georgia. This includes boats, jet skis, moving water skis and moving aquaplanes.
  2. Rangers from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can stop your boat for any reason. Unlike a stop involving a car, the police can stop your vessel for the purpose of verifying proper documentation, for proper safety equipment on board, and more. In one Georgia case, the court held that “merely observing a can of beer in the hand of one who is otherwise operating a boat in a safe manner gives cause for a stop of the vessel.”
  3. If you are arrested for BUI and refuse to take the state chemical test, your operating privileges can be suspended for a year.
  4. The legal limit for BUI is the same in Georgia as it is for DUI (Driving Under the Influence): .08 grams of alcohol. However, you can be charged with BUI if you are operating your vessel in a less safe manner due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs even if you have less than the legal limit of alcohol in your system.
  5. If you are BUI and cause either death or serious injury to someone, you can be charged with a felony, punishable by imprisonment for 3 to 15 years. Unlike automobiles, which have many safety features designed to protect us in the event of an accident, most watercrafts have few (if any) safety features, and serious injuries and deaths can occur on the water. Please be mindful of boating safety this summer.

While a BUI conviction doesn’t result in the loss of your driver’s license, it can result in hefty fines, community service, probation, and even jail time. Therefore, if you’re arrested for BUI, you should hire only a Georgia traffic lawyer experienced in BUI cases to defend your rights. Schedule a consultation with Mickey Roberts, PC to discuss your case, or, for more legal tips, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Avoid Labor Day BUIs with Designated Boater Service

Labor Day weekend is a momentous occasion that often serves as the official goodbye to summer. If you’re like many Georgians, you prefer to spend the holiday with your toes in the water at Lake Lanier. It’s easy to cut loose when everything seems to be taken care of and your to-do list of picking up hot dog buns, ice, and beer is all crossed off. One thing you may have forgotten to add to that list is a sober driver for your boat.

It is a common misconception that boating under the influence is dissimilar to driving under the influence. However, the hard facts tell otherwise. The number of BUIs has notably increased since last summer, when Jake and Griffin Pearce were tragically struck and killed on Lake Lanier by a boater under the influence of alcohol. With 8 million people coming to the Atlanta-area lake each year, safe and sober boating is essential to the security of both the passengers of your boat and boaters surrounding you.

When you or your intended driver has overindulged, your choices have traditionally beenlimited to waiting it out until you are sober and able to drive (which should be tested with a breathalyzer) or choosing a designated driver.  Recently an Atlanta area company has expanded those options with SAFENAV. This company’s drivers travel through the lake in a small dinghy, which attaches to the customer in need of a safe boat and provides a ride back to shore. The company’s $125 for a boat pick up and drive back is justifiable when considering the protection they provide a would-be unsafe driver from getting a BUI, spending a fortune paying for fines and DUI School, increased insurance, or harming a fellow lake-goer.

If alcohol will be part of your Labor Day celebration make sure to plan ahead and consume responsibly. While boat-on-boat collisions remain rare at about five per year, dozens of people each year are injured or killed by reckless drivers. The last thing you want to do is be one of them, on either end.

To learn more about BUI lawyers, or if you are in need of legal representation for other traffic violations, please contact MRGADUI. You can also connect with attorney Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for the latest in DUI and BUI news.

5 Common Questions about BUI in Georgia

1. What is a BUI? The Georgia law of boating under the influence says no person shall operate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination thereof, when it is less safe to do so; while having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above within 3 hours of operating such vessel; if there is any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance in their blood or urine; or has prescription drugs in their blood and is rendered incapable of operating a vessel safely. what is a BUI?

2. What is considered a “vessel” for BUI purposes?
“Vessel” means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water or a sailboard, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water and specifically includes, but is not limited to, inflatable rafts and homemade vessels. The vessel does NOT need to be motorized.

3. Can my driver’s license be suspended if I am convicted of BUI? No, only your “privilege to operate a vessel” can be suspended. Your privilege to operate can be suspended anywhere from 30 days to 5 years, depending on the number of BUI convictions you have.

4. What gives the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) the right to stop my boat? Under current Georgia law, the DNR or any other law enforcement officer can stop your vessel for any reason, including verifying proper documentation and safety equipment on board. The police do NOT need articulable suspicion to stop you as they would need when stopping your car.

5. What are the penalties for a BUI conviction? Besides loss of privilege to operate a vessel for a period of time, BUIs are misdemeanors punishable by a maximum of 12 months in jail and a $1000 fine. BUIs are very similar to DUIs, with officers using field sobriety tests, portable breath tests, and intoximeter breath machines to prove your guilt. Therefore, it is important to hire an experienced BUI and traffic lawyer who will aggressively fight for your rights. If you require legal representation for BUI or any other traffic offense, contact MRGADUI today. Be sure to follow Mickey Roberts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more information on Georgia traffic laws.

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The above information is intended to help educate members of the Georgia motoring public as to their rights under the law and to assist presumptively innocent citizens in properly asserting those rights. Information within this site should not be misconstrued as legal advice.
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