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Can I Get a DUI While Boating?

When most people think of DUI, they think of the charge received when driving a car under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, DUI doesn’t just apply to cars. You can be charged with DUI for operating most types of vehicles with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above the legal limit of 0.08%.

Virginia Drinking and Boating Laws

According to Virginia law, operating a boat with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is a Class 1 Misdemeanor and is punishable in up to $2,500 in fines, the loss of the privilege to operate a motorboat for up to one year, and/or up to 12 months in jail. Anyone caught operating a water vessel including a boat, sailboat, or personal watercraft with a BAC above the legal limit will likely be charged with BUI (boating under the influence). Additionally, anyone under the age of 21 caught operating a water vessel with a BAC of 0.02% or higher may be charged with BUI.

These regulations are put in place to protect boat operators, passengers, swimmers, and anyone else enjoying local waterways. Consuming alcohol while operating a boat is incredibly dangerous and increases the risk of an accident. In fact, alcohol use is a top five contributing factor in boat accidents, according to the United States Coast Guard.

Even if you do not consume alcohol while onboard a boat, it’s likely others will, particularly during the popular summer boating season. If you have been injured in a boat accident caused by someone else, our boating accident attorneys at Huffman & Huffman are here to protect your rights. We have over 150 years of combined experience and we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Contact Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law, P.L.L.C. at (757) 330-3425 for a free consultation with our team today.