Does a boating DUI affect your driver’s license? According to the Coast Guard, boating DUI is a severe offense and the biggest cause of fatal boating accidents in the United States.
Although it can cause severe fines and prison time, boating DUI does not affect your driver’s license directly in most states. It won’t appear in your driving record.
In this article, we’ll look at the current legal consequences of a boating DUI and how it impacts your driving and boating license, as well as your records.
What is a Boating DUI?
DUI (Driving under Influence) commonly known as drinking and driving on the road. DUI can also happen from drinking and driving a boat. This is called Boating under Influence (BUI).
It is prohibited in all states to operate or physically control a boat or any sort of water craft being under the effect of alcohol or drugs. The legal limit of blood alcohol concentration varies from state to state, although it is typically 0.08 percentages. Each state has its own set of punishments for people found boating under the influence.
Penalties for Boating DUIs
The penalties for BUI are almost identical with the ones for a regular DUI conviction. Penalties are also set by the sections breached, past crimes, and whether any injuries or accidents happened. These include high sanctions, probable prison time, and the suspension of boating license.
The majorities of BUI charges are small and result in just minor fines. A misdemeanor BUI carries a punishment of up to 6 months in county prison or a $1,000 criminal fine. Before having their licenses back, courts may compel drivers to attend a boating safety course or an alcohol education program.
Commercial boat operators may face even heavier fines, as they are held accountable not just for their personal safety, but also for the safety of their clients. The punishment for the first degree BUI carries criminal charges, up to $14,000 in costs and 3-7 years in jail.
How Does a Boating DUI Affect Your Driver’s License?
A conviction for boating under the influence (BUI) usually has no effect on your driver’s license in most states. This is because BUI is controlled by a separate area of the law than motor vehicles and driving records. But it can certainly cause suspension of your boating license for a certain period of time.
But in some states like Alaska, California, a BUI is considered same as a DUI and can affect your driving license. A conviction for BUI will also remain on your permanent criminal record. Though it will not appear on your driving record, it may pose complications if you are ever arrested for DUI.
A BUI will increase the severity of your first DUI and lead it to be charged as a second offense. The opposite of this is also true. If you have a DUI and are arrested for a BUI, enhancements will be applied, making the first offense BUI charge a second offense.
Can You Get Your Driver’s License Revoked After a Boating DUI?
In most situations, a BUI cannot be the primary cause for your driving license being revoked. The BUI is only used for boats and watercrafts, not public-road motor vehicles. It does not have any direct connection with driving license.
In some states, however, it is recorded on your driving record for statistical purposes and also considered same offence as DUI. In those states, for example – Alaska, California, Hawai, Indiana, driving license can get revoked because of a BUI.
If you have both types of convictions, certain states have unique laws that allow you to cross-reference BUI and DUI punishments. Then the consequences might be more severe, such as an extended boating license suspension or possibly revocation of your driving license.
Consequences of Having a Boating DUI on your Driving Record
A conviction for boating under the influence (BUI) does not normally appear on your regular driving record; still, there may be indirect effects of a BUI on your driving record:
Long-Term Effects on Driving Privileges and Insurance Rates: A BUI conviction might impact not just your boating license, but also your driving license. Though it will not be recorded, certain insurance companies may get aware of the conviction. It will have an impact on your insurance rates and may result in increased premiums.
Potential Increase in Insurance Premiums and Difficulty Obtaining Coverage: A BUI conviction is often seen as a risk factor by insurance companies. So, persons with a BUI conviction may face higher rates and fewer coverage alternatives.
Possible Suspension or Revocation of Driving Privileges Due to Multiple Offenses: If there are multiple BUI offenses, driving privileges will be revoked or suspended for a long period of time, causing financial harm.
Does A Boating DUI Affect Your Driver’s License – FAQs
What is the legal BAC limit for BUI?
It varies depending on the jurisdiction, but it is normally 0.08 %.
How much of a fine do I have to pay for a BUI?
Without criminal charges, a fine of $500 to $5,000 is possible.
Is a BUI going to affect your insurance rate?
Yes, it can lead to higher premium rates.
Are penalties for BUI the same as those for DUI?
In general, the penalties are the same as for DUI. It includes fines, probation, prison time, and, in certain situations, license suspension.