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Boating DUI

DUI laws are not limited to operating vehicles on a roadways or highways. Although not always contemplated by people operating vessels such as jet skis or boats, law enforcement may arrest a person for being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both, while operating one of these vessels. This is commonly referred to as BUI, or boating under the influence. A person can be convicted of boating under the influence when operating a vessel on a waterway when he or she is either impaired to an appreciable degree by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two, or has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 08% or greater (04% or more for non-recreational vessels).

(California Harbor & Navigation Code § 655 (2016)).


Similar to DUI penalties, BUI penalties vary depending on whether the offender has a prior BUI or DUI conviction within the past seven years. The consequences for a first BUI are:

  • For a first BUI, or where all prior BUI and DUI convictions were more than seven years ago, the court may impose up to six months in county jail, plus additional fines and fees. As a condition of probation, the court will likely require a substance abuse or education program and restrict the offender to no alcohol at all while driving or boating during the course of his or her probation.
  • Second or subsequent BUI: Where a BUI offender has at least one prior BUI or DUI conviction occurring within seven years, the court may impose up to one year in county jail, as well as increased fines and fees. Similarly, as a condition of probation, the court will likely order the offender to participate in substance abuse or alcohol education program for at least 18 months and will prohibit the offender from having any alcohol in his or her system while driving or boating during the course of his or her probation. (California Harbor & Navigation Code § 668 (2016)).

If you’ve been arrested for or charged with boating under the influence in California, contact an experienced BUI attorney immediately. The facts of every case are unique. An experienced BUI/DUI attorney will be able to explain how California BUI laws apply to your case and help you decide the best course of action.

Temecula Criminal Defense Attorney Parwana Anwar is here to protect your liberties and see that you are duly represented in a court of law. An arrest is not a conviction, and you are entitled to exercising your rights to the fullest extent of the law. We are criminal defense lawyers who specialize in defending people's rights. As a Temecula DUI attorney, Attorney Parwana Anwar will evaluate the evidence against you in order to make sure your constitutional liberties were protected and that you were treated fairly.

  • Were police guidelines and protocol followed?
  • Was there sufficient probable cause for your arrest?
  • Were you Mirandized before a confession or admission was given?
  • Was the evidence tainted?
  • Was the chain of custody of the evidence unbroken?
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