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Some common questions about BUIs

Boating under the influence is a serious problem, and for operators of vessels who engage in this behavior, the ramifications of a BUI can be severe. By both state and federal laws, it is illegal to operate a boat while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The U.S. Coast Guard could stop you boat and check you for operating under the influence in the same manner that a police officer could pull over the driver of a vehicle on suspicion of a DUI.

Furthermore, some waterways and bodies of water can actually have BUI checkpoints, much like a DUI checkpoint on the roads. Probable cause is still an important factor, but in the state of Delaware, probable cause isn't even necessary to pull a boat over on suspicion of BUI.

BUIs often have similar or even the same consequences as a DUI. The accused could lose their boating license; they will carry a criminal record for some time; they will pay a lot of fines and fees to deal with their criminal charge; and their life can be turned upside down.

For anyone who goes out to operate a boat, you should do so while you are sober and clear in mind. For anyone who rides on a boat, you should make sure to help your pilot and make sure the trip is a safe one. Boating accidents can have devastating effects for those involved.

Source: FindLaw, "Boating Under the Influence (BUI) FAQs," Accessed Aug. 28, 2017

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