What are the consequences of Boating Under the Influence?

In Kentucky, it is unlawful to operate a boat under the influence. If you consume alcohol or other impairing substances and are determined to be under the influence, you may be charged with a BUI (Boating Under the Influence) charge.

Just like for a DUI in a motor vehicle, the per se limit for drinking and boating is 0.08 g/mL. KRS 235.240(4). The statute prohibits persons from operating a motorboat or vessel, or manipulate any water skis, surfboard, or similar device, while intoxicated or under the influence of any other substance which could impair one’s driving ability. KRS 235.240(2) The implied consent rules apply to BUIs, as well. KRS 235.240(3).

If you are convicted of a BUI, the consequences are as follows (KRS 235.990(2)):

  1. For a first offense, you will be fined $200-$250 or 24 hours in jail.
  2. For a second offense, you will be fined $350-500 or 48 hours in jail.
  3. For a third or subsequent offense, you will be fined $600-1,000, be jailed for at least 30 days, or both.

Refusal to submit to a breath test is considered a separate offense, just like in a motor vehicle DUI.

In addition to the fines and possible jail time, you will have to take a safe-boating course which is offered by the department of transportation and you will have to present to the Court a certificate documenting successful completion of the course. You will also have to pay the department a fee of one hundred dollars ($100) for the costs of materials and instruction before receiving a certificate of
completion. KRS 235.990(3)(b).

Finally, you can also be charged with violating KRS 222.202(1) and/or (2) – for drinking alcohol in public (on Kentucky’s water ways) and/or for being ‘manifestly’ under the influence in a public place to the point where you become a danger to yourself, others, or property.

If you received a DUI charge while boating, you need competent and experienced counsel to help you with your case. Do not delay, call the DUI Guy today.


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