Utah Boating under the Influence

Utah Boating under the Influence

While some states have classified boating under the influence (BUI) as a separate offense, Utah includes this crime within its standard driving under the influence (DUI) statutes. Any person who operates a motor vehicle--such as a car, boat, or even snowmobile--with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit or whose ability to drive is impaired by alcohol may be charged with DUI. This is a serious crime in Utah that carries the possibility of jail time, fines, alcohol education, and a license suspension.

Boating under the Influence

In Utah, police officers aren't the only ones who can make a DUI arrest--officers in the Division of Wildlife Resources and park rangers also have the authority to arrest individuals for boating under the influence. If a law enforcement agent suspects that your boating patterns are an indication of operating while impaired, you may be pulled over. The officer or ranger will then look for signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, difficulty standing, and the smell of alcohol on your breath. In some cases, you may be brought to shore and asked to perform a number of field sobriety tests.

You may also be asked to submit to a breath or blood test to determine your BAC. It is illegal to operate any motor vehicle in Utah with a BAC of .08% or higher, so your test reading may be used against you in court if you were over the legal limit.

Penalties for Boating under the Influence

The penalties for boating under the influence are exactly the same as if you were arrested for drunk driving in a car. For a first offense, you may be sentenced to a minimum of two days in jail or community service, large fines, and alcohol education classes. A second offense could result in at least 10 days in jail or 240 hours of community service, fines, and mandatory alcohol education classes.

In addition, you will also be subject to an administrative license suspension imposed by the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Failure to submit a hearing request within 10 days means you will automatically lose your driving privileges. Unfortunately, most people who lose their license for a DUI are ineligible for a limited permit to drive to work.

Contact a Utah BUI Attorney

A boating under the influence conviction has the potential to take a significant toll not only on your life, but your freedom and future. Our BUI attorneys are committed to helping individuals facing a drunk-driving offense.