As the summer heat sets in and you’re headed out on the water to boat with your friends, it’s a good time to relax and enjoy life. However, if you choose to drink beer and let loose, you should know that there are consequences for boating under the influence in the state of Maryland. In fact, it’s illegal to boat under the influence of alcohol if your blood concentration level is over 0.08%. Boating under the influence is considered a BUI while impaired boating is regarded as a BWI. These charges carry serious consequences that could gravely impact your future as outlined under Maryland law. Here’s how.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
Boating under the influence, or a BUI, is relatively self-explanatory. In Maryland, it’s illegal to operate or attempt to operate any boat, vehicle, or another vessel while under the influence of alcohol or other impairing substance. Boaters may be stopped while on the water and asked to submit to a random breathalyzer or another test to determine their blood alcohol concentration. You’re presumably under the influence if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher. A BUI or BWI both carry outstanding fines or penalties that vary depending upon whether it is your first offense or you’re a repeat offender.
First Offense Penalties
If you’re convicted of operating a boat while under the influence, you can face upwards of $1,000 in fines and even one year in jail. For first-time offenders, this offense is considered to be a misdemeanor. However, it’s treated quite comparably to being charged with a DUI while driving a vehicle. This charge will go on record, and you can even have your ability to operate a boat completely suspended, especially if you choose to refuse a breathalyzer test.
Penalties for a Second Offense or More
If this isn’t your first BUI, you might already know that you can stack up additional consequences for a repeat BUI offense. Even though a second offense BUI is still considered a misdemeanor, you face up to two years in jail time with upwards of $2000 in fines. For individuals who have multiple BUI’s, you’re looking at up to three years in jail and over $3000 in fines. That’s why it’s vital to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the murky waters of the legal system. Contact Albers & Associates today!
Albers & Associates is Your Experienced Legal Team
Albers & Associates is your highly experienced Baltimore legal team. We can advocate on your behalf for the best possible resolution for your case. Our highly skilled legal team can expertly navigate your case and work with you during this difficult time. Contact us today for a consultation. You can also give us a call at our downtown Baltimore, MD office (410) 505-0671 or Dundalk, MD office (410) 505-7831.