As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I have handled a plethora of Georgia Boating Under the Influence cases. It's summer in Georgia meaning that it's boating season. Many people all over our state love boating. I've listed some of the most popular lakes and their corresponding counties below.
- Lake Lanier – Hall County, Forsyth County, Dawson County, Gwinnett County, and Lumpkin County
- Lake Oconee – Morgan County, Greene County, and Putnam County
- Lake Allatoona – Bartow County, Cherokee County, and Cobb County
In today's post, I will focus on the differences between a DUI in Georgia and a BUI in Georgia so as to give my readers a better understanding of what they are facing if they are ever accused of boating under the influence in Georgia.
Differences Between a DUI and a BUI in Georgia
- There is no driver's license suspension for a BUI.
- Georgia BUI Penalties can include: up to 12 months in jail, community service, fines, fees, and substance abuse evaluations.
- The field sobriety tests for a BUI are a different set of tests because of the environmental differences of a being on a boat.
- The privilege to operate a boat is only suspended at the administrative level – there is no criminal court suspension.
- A judge can stop a person from operating a boat as a condition of their probation.
- There is a higher concentration of BUI arrests per operator than DUI arrests per driver in Georgia.
- If caught operating a boat while the right is administratively suspended or suspended through probation, then the offense is considered another misdemeanor or Georgia Violation of Probation.
- Georgia BUI laws also include felony provisions for seriously injuring others or for causing a death/deaths.
- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is in charge of BUI offenses in Georgia, so a BUI is a serious offense and needs to be handled seriously.
- To reinstate the privilege to operate a boat, you must attend a state-approved risk reductions program and pay a reinstatement fee.
- An accused boater only has 10 days to request an administrative hearing to save their privilege to boat in Georgia.
Similar to a Georgia DUI, a BUI is a misdemeanor in Georgia, and therefore, representation if accused of boating under the influence is your best defense. If you or a loved one has been accused and charged with a BUI in Georgia, contact a Georgia BUI Attorney today.