Boating Under the Influence

However, under state law, operating a water vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to severe consequences, including fines, jail time, and boat registration and driver’s license suspension. Massachusetts has some of the most stringent boating under the influence laws in the nation. 

Sail boat

Boat registration suspension

The Massachusetts Environmental Police will suspend boat registration for those who are found to be intoxicated while operating a watercraft. It is illegal to operate a kayak, canoe, sailboat, motorboat, or any other type of watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Penalties for BUI in Massachusetts

The penalties imposed in a conviction for BUI are severe, even for a first-time conviction. 

First boating OUI charge

A conviction can result in fines from $100 to $1,000, 2 ½ years behind bars, and both boat and driver’s license and boat certification revoked for up to a year.

Second boating OUI charge

If charged a second time within six years, the penalties imposed are increased, with a two-year driver’s license suspension, two-year boat certificate revocation, and fines from $300 to $1,000, along with 14 days to 2 ½ years in prison

Third boating OUI offense

A third conviction for BUI can lead to 5 years of driver’s license suspension, five years of boating certification revocation, $500 to $1,000 in fines, and six months to 2 ½ years behind bars. 

BUI with serious bodily injury

If you are convicted of causing a boating accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the penalties imposed can include up to 10 years of incarceration and fines up to $5,000.

BUI and death

If another person died in a boating accident in which the operator is believed to have been intoxicated, the penalties imposed could include fines up to $5,000 and up to 15 years behind bars.

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Boating OUI defense

You may have ventured out on the water with expectations of enjoying the outdoors, which turned into a nightmare. Being unaware of the boating laws in the state does not protect you from suffering legal consequences.

If you are accused of operating a watercraft while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, you will need the assistance of a skilled boating OUI defense attorney who has a track record of positive case outcomes. 

The defense case in a BUI must be crafted with skill, based on the unique facts and evidence. Several types of evidence can be challenged, including breath testing procedures, the arrest procedure, testing devices or lab protocols, and others. After an arrest on a boating OUI charge, exercise your right to remain silent and contact our firm immediately. Your defense lawyer is the one individual standing between you and a justice system built to convict. 

Why choose Gilman Law for boating OUI defense?

At Gilman Law, we are honored to be recognized as one of the premier OUI defense law firms in the state, and for our impressive record helping our clients with driver’s license suspension at the RMV. Gillman Law is one of the largest driver’s license suspension law firms in Massachusetts. We charge a flat fee for many services, offer payment plans, and get to work on the cases we take on right away – often the same day. We perform all the administrative work with the RMV, with the goal of getting our clients back behind the wheel legally and efficiently after a license suspension associated with boating OUI.

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Don’t take chances with a BUI charge.

If you are facing a criminal charge for boating OUI, whether misdemeanor or felony, it is not a light matter for residents or visitors to Massachusetts. You could be incarcerated, lose your driver’s license, and owe thousands in fines. The first step is to ensure you have the legal protection of an attorney who has a breadth of knowledge and experience in defending these cases, and who will treat you with honesty and integrity at every step of the process. Call Gilman Law for the legal representation you deserve, and a lawyer that is ready to take on the system for you, professionally, with integrity and honesty.

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