While many know about driving under the influence and the different laws that come along with suffering a DUI arrest, few know about how the law treats boats. However, many people enjoy driving their boats through the open waters, and being able to do so with the ease of mind of knowing what the law has to say about drivers helps tremendously. With that in mind, plenty of laws exists worth knowing for boat riders and drivers. Boating under the influence, for example, carries a variety of different penalties you may face. Understanding these laws and treating them seriously will help you avoid boating under the influence (BUI) penalties that could harm your ability to use your boat the way you would like to.
New Jersey specifically has plenty of boating laws worth knowing about. When it comes to BUI offenses, the case works no differently. You will feel much safer and more secure about your boating abilities knowing the different laws. Thus, let’s take a look at the different BUI laws worth knowing.
Boating Under the Influence: The Laws You Need to Know
New Jersey BUI Penalties
First of all, we understand that boating is a way of life in New Jersey. With all of the open water surrounding you, it’s impossible not to enjoy riding along. However, doing so while intoxicated carries potential penalties that no one wishes to face. Understanding these penalties can go a long way towards helping you feel at ease while riding along on the water.
BUI penalties for boat drivers include:
- $250-400 fine
- Right to operate a vessel suspended for up to one year
- A three-month driving suspension
These penalties can be defended against in open court with a BUI attorney on your case. However, the penalties do exist as potential punishments to be leveled against you for boating under the influence. New Jersey frowns heavily upon boating under the influence and works hard to crack down on these cases. Considering the volume of people driving boats each and every day, New Jersey wishes to secure the open waters as a safe place for people to drive.
How Do I Get A BUI Offense?
While we listed the penalties above, you may be wondering how law enforcement determines whether or not you fit into those potential punishments. That question is completely understandable, so let’s go over the different determinations the law and law enforcement officers must make to determine the potential punishments.
The New Jersey law works clearly in laying out who fits into the possible punishments and who does not. New Jersey law states the blood alcohol limit for boating while intoxicated is 0.08% or greater. This number is taken during a breathalyzer test, much like if you were pulled over while being suspected of driving under the influence. Many of the parts in the overall happening of being pulled over for a BUI work similarly to that of a DUI, of course only in the water this time. The penalties listed above cover if your blood alcohol content tops the 0.08% mark, up until the 0.10% tally. Thus, if you are pulled over and have your BAC taken, and it tops 0.08%, you will face those punishments as possibilities.
What Happens If My BAC Tops 0.10%
In the case that your BAC tops even the 0.10% mark, you face even more severe penalties. These possibilities include:
- A $300-$500 fine.
- Losing the right to operate a boat for one year.
- A suspension of driving privileges for seven months to one year.
As you can see by the punishments compared to the prior punishments, the higher the blood alcohol content, the more severe the punishments leveled against you.
What If I Refuse A Breathalyzer Test?
While this may seem like the easy way out of facing potential punishments, the law works to eliminate this possibility. New Jersey law consists of the implied consent law. The implied consent law means that by taking to the open water, you are essentially consenting to take a breathalyzer test should an officer have reasonable evidence to request one of you. The question of reasonable evidence is your hope at that point, but the officer will likely as you to take one, and you cannot simply decline to take one.
In the case you decline to take a breathalyzer test, the Implied Consent law means you further penalties loom possible. These penalties include a larger label of your crime and additional fines. Simply put, you have the right to boat in the open water in New Jersey. This hands the rights to ask you to take a breathalyzer test to officers.
Rather than testing the laws, taking the breathalyzer test and working with your BUI Attorney to handle the results works much more effectively.