In Virginia, just as you are not allowed to drive a vehicle while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol, you're also not allowed to operate a boat while intoxicated. Referred to as boating under the influence (BUI), a first offense is a misdemeanor, which could result in jail time and/or fines. It could also lead to the loss of the privilege to operate any watercraft upon Commonwealth waters. When you're facing such severe consequences and a judicial system that may be unfamiliar to you, you need a Virginia BUI lawyer on your side who can guide you through the process.
At Tillotson & Martin, our Coastal Virginia BUI attorneys have nearly 40 years of combined experience. We know the courts, legal processes, and the laws concerning these types of matters. Our team has such a thorough understanding of this area of the law that we were asked to write the DWI book for Virginia. This manual is the one judges, prosecutors, and other attorneys turn to when handling these types of cases. Not only are we intimately familiar with DUI laws, but we are also well-informed about the science that goes into pursuing these matters. Attorney Martin is an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, and both of our lawyers are Breath Test operators. When you turn to us, you can be confident you'll receive legal representation from a team that knows what they're doing.
If you're in need of a defense team who cares and has the fight to win, call us at (757) 568-7978 today.
What's Virginia's Law on Boating Under the Influence?
The law concerning drinking and boating is similar to that of drinking and driving. You are prohibited from operating a boat upon Commonwealth waters when your ability to do so safely is impaired.
Virginia Code § 29.1-738 specifically states that it's unlawful for a person to operate any watercraft when they:
- Have a blood alcohol concentration at or above .08
- Are under the influence of alcohol
- Are under the influence of an illegal or legal drug
- Are under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol
- Have a blood concentration at the following levels:
- .02 milligrams of cocaine
- .01 milligrams of methamphetamine
- .01 milligrams of PCP
- .01 milligrams of MDMA (ecstasy)
What Are the Penalties for a BUI Conviction?
Boating under the influence is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Conviction penalties include:
- Up to 12 months in jail and/or
- Up to $2,500 in fines
- Loss of boating privileges for 1 year for a first conviction and 3 years for a second or subsequent conviction within 10 years of the first
Do Implied Consent Laws Apply to BUI Offenses?
In terms of a DUI offense, implied consent laws state that when a person drives on Virginia roads, they have given their permission to be subject to a blood or breath test to detect the amount of drugs and/or alcohol in their system if they're arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The same is true when a person operates a boat upon Commonwealth waters.
If you refuse to participate in a chemical test, you could be prohibited from operating any watercraft for:
- 1 year for a first refusal
- 2 years for a second or subsequent refusal within 5 years of the first
Virginia Boating While Intoxicated Lawyer
At Tillotson & Martin, our Virginia BUI lawyers understand the stress and frustration many people feel after being accused of boating under the influence. When you hire us, we'll answer your questions, explain the criminal justice process, discuss your legal options. We'll provide sound advice and help you make informed decisions as we work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf.
We Wrote the Book.We were tasked with writing the book on Virginia DUI Law by Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the leading authority in legal publishing. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges often turn to this resource.
We Possess the Knowledge.Not only are our attorneys committed to attending continued education courses, they lecture and teach courses themselves. In a field as scientific and technical as DUI Defense, keeping our knowledge up to date is crucial to crafting our clients' defense strategies.
We Truly Care.Mike Tillotson & Jeff Martin go the extra mile for their clients. Our team realizes that this is your future at stake and we will employ every strategy to ensure that we are providing you with the best representation possible.
We Have the Fight to Win.With nearly 40 years of combined experience, Mike Tillotson and Jeff Martin have successfully handled thousands of DUI cases, and has tried cases across the entire state of Virginia.
Call (757) 568-7978 or Fill Out a Form for a Free Case Evaluation