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Bucher Law Group, LLC

Everything You Need to Know About Boating Under the Influence in Wisconsin 

 Posted on May 09, 2023 in DUI/OWI

waukesha county BUI lawyerBoating and enjoying Wisconsin's lakes is a beloved summer activity for many Wisconsinites. However, what started as a day of fun on the water can sometimes end in criminal charges.  Boating under the influence (BUI) is a serious offense that can have significant legal consequences. If you have been arrested for BUI, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure you can safeguard your rights as you look to overcome the charges. 

What Constitutes BUI in Wisconsin? 

Just like driving under the influence in a vehicle, Wisconsin statutes prohibit operating a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. A person is considered intoxicated if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or above 0.08 percent or if it affects their ability to operate the watercraft safely. In Wisconsin, a BUI conviction can levy fines of up to $300. If convicted of a subsequent BUI within five years of your first, you can spend up to six months in jail and face fines up to $1,000. Moreover, a 3rd BUI conviction can land you in jail for up to one year and carry fines of $2,000. 

Please note that an exception to the 0.08 percent limit is if you are a commercial boating captain, wherein you are required to maintain a BAC of below 0.04 percent.

Additional Considerations Regarding BUI

What many people do not realize about drinking while out on a boat is that people tend to become intoxicated much quicker while out on the water. The reason for this is a multitude of factors. For instance, being on a boat likely means you will be in the sun for extended periods of time. This can exacerbate the effects of alcohol. Drinking two beers while on a boat in the sun may make someone feel more intoxicated than if they drank those same two beers on land. In addition, the boat's vibration can induce fatigue symptoms much quicker than if someone were driving in a car. This, combined with extended periods of sun exposure, can make for a very dangerous combination.

Contact a Waukesha County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with BUI, contact an experienced Milwaukee County criminal defense lawyer with Bucher Law Group, LLC for more information. Call 262-303-4916 for a free consultation. 



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