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Astonishing Facts About Boating Under the Influence (BUI) in Colorado

Attorneys at Law Timlin & Rye June 20, 2014

It is legal to drink alcohol on a boat, but, it is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including marijuana.

Boating under the influence is as serious as Driving under the influence and significantly impacts many people’s lives, not just the one charged with BUI.

The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has caused law enforcement to be on high alert with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and high alert for the operation motorboats, jet skis, kayaks, canoes, and other watercraft on our lakes and reservoirs.

Police patrolling lakes and reservoirs will be looking for open containers and drivers operating their boats in an unsafe or erratic manner.

Astonishing facts about BUI’s:

  • 50% of fatal and 24% of non-fatal boat accidents involved alcohol and/or drugs.

  • The top 3 primary causes of boat accidents in 2013 were Alcohol/Drug Use, Careless/Reckless Operation, and Operator Inexperience.

  • Boating under the influence is enforced similarly to driving under the influence.

  • As with DUIs, a person suspected of boating under the influence will be subjected to field sobriety tests and breath or blood tests.

  • A person charged with boating under the influence is subject to the same penalties as a person charged with driving under the influence including…..

    •  Jail Time

    • Fines

    • Driver’s License Suspension or Revocation

    • Probation

    • Alcohol classes

    • And more….

Happy boaters sometimes do not think twice about cracking open a cold beer on a hot summer day while relaxing on their boat so take care this summer when it comes to boating

The most effective way to avoid being charged with boating under the influence (BUI) is to avoid mixing alcohol and boating.

If you or someone, you know is charged with BUI, it is critical to have an attorney who thoroughly understands the law and can defend your rights.

Questions or concern please contact Timlin & Rye by calling or email us

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