Although it might not seem like boating under the influence is as serious a crime as driving under the influence, Georgia treats the two charges similarly. Especially after two fatal boating accidents involving children on Lake Lanier last summer, local authorities are taking BUI and boating violations very seriously.
A BUI is considered a misdemeanor in Georgia. A boat operator facing their first BUI offense could face:
- A suspended boating license, from 30 days to one year
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Mandatory boating safety classes.
- Mandatory alcohol and addiction education
- Community service
- Jail time
You may face even more serious consequences if:
- you were boating recklessly at the time of your arrest (or otherwise breaking boating laws);
- you were endangering children in your boat by boating under the influence;
- you have been convicted of BUI in the past;
- you do not cooperate with police; or
- your BUI charged involved a boating accident, boating injury, or boating death.
It is also important to understand that a BUI charge will permanently be on your record and could affect other aspects of your life, such as your family life, your career, and your finances. For example, recently a University of Georgia football player was suspended from participating in several games after he was arrested and charged for boating under the influence of alcohol.
If you need legal assistance with your Georgia BUI charge, you way wish to speak with Atlanta DUI attorney Scott Miller. To schedule a meeting today, call 770-408-1001.