With Labor Day just around the corner, many people are gearing up and cleaning their boats, Sea-Doos, and jet-skis to get ready for the weekend. Since this is the last holiday weekend of the summer, many families and groups of friends are planning to make this trip the best one of the year. However, there are few important things to consider before leaving on your trip to ensure you and your loved ones remain safe.
Unfortunately, many people do not consider the dangers or illegalness of boating while under the influence. In California, the Harbors and Navigation Code 655b states that you may not operate any kind of watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These watercraft vehicles include the following:
- Water skis
- Or similar vehicles such as jet skis
Not only is boating under the influence extremely dangerous, but a BUI is considered a serious crime just like a DUI. In California, you can face the following penalties for a first-time BUI offense.
- Up to six months in jail
- Fines up to $1,000
- Mandatory DUI school
While many California BUI penalties are similar to those of DUI, the DMV does not have the authority to suspend a driver's license exclusively to punish a BUI conviction.
Tips to Avoid a BUI
To keep yourself, your family, and your friends safe over the weekend, consider the helpful tips listed below.
- If you plan to drink while visiting the lake, river, or ocean, do not plan to operate any kind of watercraft.
- Designate a friend or family member, who will remain sober, that can operate the watercraft safely.
- If you do plan to drink, dock your boat in a safe, less busy area and plan to camp there for until you or another experienced driver is safe to operate the watercraft.
- Rent a beachfront, lakefront, or riverfront house. This will give you and your friends a place to drink and enjoy the weekend without having to be on the water. Not only will you avoid a ticket, but you can avoid a BUI accident as well.
Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP Cares About Your Safety
Whether you are visiting the lake, ocean, or river, Lessem & Newstat, LLP cares about your rights. If you have been arrested or someone you know has been accused of boating under the influence, the BUI defense lawyers at our firm may be able to help. When you choose to work with our team, we will examine your case detail by detail to ensure you have not been wrongly accused. Additionally, we will work hard to see that your charges and penalties are reduced or dismissed altogether.
When your rights are at stake, call the BUI defense attorneys from Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP. We put our experience on your side of the courtroom!