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North County Boating Under the Influence Defense Attorney


Boating Under the Influence Charges and Penalties in North County

The Harbors and Navigation Code section 655 covers the laws related to watercraft operations in North County and the rest of California. The law makes it clear that specific actions will result in a charge of BUI:

The Harbors and Navigation Code section 655 covers the laws related to watercraft operations in North County and the rest of California. The law makes it clear that specific actions will result in a charge of BUI:

  • No person shall use any vessel or manipulate water skis, an aquaplane, or a similar device in a reckless or negligent manner that could endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.
  • No person shall operate any vessel or manipulate water skis, an aquaplane, or a similar device while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, any drug, or a combination of drugs (medically prescribed or recreational).
  • No person shall operate any recreational vessel or use water skis, an aquaplane, or any similar device if the person has an alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more.
  • No person shall operate any vessel, use water skis, an aquaplane, or any similar device who is addicted to a drug, except under specific circumstances.
  • It is forbidden by law to neglect any duty under the law to operate a vessel, water skis, aquaplane, or similar device, operating the device negligently, leading to the proximate cause of bodily injury to any person (other than himself or herself).

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Charged with BUI?

A BUI charge may be filed when a boat or other watercraft operator is found to be operating the device when over the legal limit, just as is true with motor vehicles. The operator of a boat, jet ski, or another water-related device can be tested for the presence of drugs or alcohol by the authorities to determine whether they have violated the law with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of .08 BAC. If so found, they are subject to a criminal charge of boating under the influence. Commercial boat operators are held to an even higher standard, and if found to be at or above .04 BAC, they may face charges.

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Penalties for Boating Under the Influence

The charge of BUI could be either a misdemeanor or a felony, based on whether another party was injured or died due to the negligent acts of the watercraft operator. When an injury has occurred, if minor, the charge may be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

  • Misdemeanor BUI: A misdemeanor BUI conviction can lead to incarceration in county jail for six months to one year and a fine up to $1,000, or both.
  • Felony BUI: A felony charge in a case of BUI causing injury can lead to a penalty of incarceration in state prison from sixteen months to three years. The length of the sentence will reflect the severity of the injury to another person.

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Alcohol and Boating

Drinking alcoholic beverages while boating is not an unusual practice, but a fun day out on the water can turn into a nightmare if you are over the limit or a blood test reveals the presence of drugs. If a boating accident occurs, the boat operator will be tested to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in what happened.

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Defending BUI Charges: Your Right to a Defense

If you are facing charges of misdemeanor or felony BUI in the North County area of San Diego County, whether on the ocean or Lake San Marcos, the consequences can be very severe in a conviction. If you have been charged with this offense, your first step is to ensure your rights are protected by an experienced BUI defense attorney. The defense strategies that may be effective include:

  • You were not operating the boat at the time of an accident
  • You were not over the limit
  • You were stopped while operating a watercraft with no probable cause
  • Testing performed incorrectly
  • The testing device was faulty or not maintained correctly.

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Why Choose jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys?

The skills with which your case is managed can make a significant difference in the final outcome. jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys was founded by a former LAPD investigator and Certified Criminal Law Specialist, who is also a DRE (drug recognition specialist). Your case will be in the hands of a true professional who will evaluate every aspect of the case against you to identify any flaws that could reduce the damage to your life and future.

Call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 if you are facing charges of BUI to discuss your case.

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