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.