Tennessee’s Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Law and Penalties
In Tennessee, boating under the influence (BUI) is a criminal charge relating to operating a vessel while under the influence of “any intoxicant, marijuana, narcotic drug, or drug producing stimulating effects on the central nervous system.”
This broad language is the same language used in Tennessee DUI law. The term “vessel” is encompasses “every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.”
A BUI in Tennessee is the water equivalent and the same as a Tennessee DUI. Like a Tennessee DUI, a Tennessee BUI makes it unlawful for a person to operate a vessel while:
- Impaired by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two; or
- Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater.
The Tennessee BUI statute is very similar to the Tennessee DUI statute.
Like its land counterpart, a Tennessee BUI carries the following penalties which are very similar to Tennessee DUI law.
- First Offense: A first offense is an A Misdemeanor in Tennessee and if convicted it carries the possibility of a maximum jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days in jail, as well as, a possible financial penalty of $250 to $2,500 in fines, and a maximum one-year suspension of your boating privilege.
- Second Offense: A second offense is an A Misdemeanor in Tennessee and if convicted it carries the possibility of a maximum jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days in jail, as well as, possible fines of $250 to $2,500, and a two-year suspension of your boating privilege.
- Third Offense: A third offense is an A Misdemeanr in Tennessee and if convicted it carries the possibility of a minimum jail sentence of 30 days in jail and a maximum jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days in jail, as well as, possible fines of $1,000 to $5,000, and a three to ten year suspension of your boating privilege.
Importantly, a Boating Under the Influence conviction, like a Tennessee DUI conviction, is a permanent conviction on your record.
That is why it is very important to have a strong DUI defense attorney on your side who knows the law and who will fight for you and your rights. A smart Tennessee DUI attorney is equally capable of handling a BUI investigation, charge, or court case.
Don’t let a BUI arrest ruin your summer. If you’ve been charged with Boating Under the Influence in Franklin, Nashville, Murfreesboro, or anywhere in Middle Tennessee, contact Legal Powers today to get the fair representation you deserve.
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