For those who take part in boating on a regular basis, safety is vital for the same kinds of reasons as it is when driving a car. And down similar lines, those who operate boats or other watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are committing a crime – one that has the same results as a traditional DUI, at least in a state like Utah.
At Beehive Bail Bonds, we’re here to help with 24/7 bail bond services for anyone who has been incarcerated, including for BUI – boating under the influence, a serious crime in Utah that’s considered equally punishable as a DUI. For those who were unaware that Utah authorities consider these in the same realm, what are some important facts on boating and safety to be aware of, and what are the risks if you choose to break the law and boat while under the influence of substances? This blog will go over everything you need to know here, including how our bail bond agents will assist you if you or someone you know has been jailed for BUI.
First and foremost, part of the reason some people underestimate laws surrounding boating while on substances is that they don’t realize how frequently boating accidents take place. The US Coast Guard estimates that over $240 million in damage is done each year just in the United States based on boating accidents alone; on an even more sobering note, boating accidents cause over 800 deaths per year in the US, an average that dates back all the way to the 1960s.
And as you may have guessed, a high percentage of these accidents – roughly half, in fact – take place when drugs or alcohol are involved. And due to this simple fact, authorities across the country have taken steps across the last several decades to make boating under the influence a crime comparable to similar driving charges.
Before we dig further into BUI risks, it’s important to know about what’s called “boater’s hypnosis.” This refers to a situation where one has been driving a boat for four or more hours, being exposed to various noises, vibrations, UV rays and other motion effects – effects that may create a sort of fatigue. In fact, the symptoms of boater’s hypnosis involve delayed reaction times and some of the other effects you’d often see in a person who was drunk or using drugs.
While boater’s hypnosis doesn’t affect everyone, and may have different specific symptoms for those who do suffer from it, one fact about it is true for all people no matter what: Alcohol and drugs worsen these effects, often exponentially so. The effects or boater’s hypnosis or a drug/alcohol mind alteration are bad enough on their own; when combined, they become even worse and multiply your risk of getting into an accident. Here are some of the effects you may notice:
Boating under the influence (BUI), as we noted above, is a serious crime in Utah (and most other states). It can occur when someone is driving any water vessel, whether that’s a boat, jet ski or even a non-motored type like a kayak, canoe or sailboat.
Just like the more well-known DUI crime, someone is considered to be over the legal limit and under the influence of alcohol if they have a blood alcohol level of 0.05% or higher. If your levels are at this point or greater, you can be charged with BUI – and this crime carries the exact same consequences as DUI (more below). In addition, while specific test formats will vary for other forms of illicit drugs, you can be charged with BUI if you’re under the influence of illegal substances like marijuana, opioids or hallucinogens (even in states or cases where these substances are legal, such as states that have legal marijuana programs, either medically or recreationally).
In addition to the significant risks of injury or even death that you’re taking by boating under the influence, you also risk being charged with BUI. Just like a DUI, this is a serious crime that will remain on your record for a long time if you’re convicted, and will result in several possible consequences:
If you or anyone you’re close with has been charged with boating under the influence in Utah, contact our team at Beehive Bail Bonds right away. We have assisted numerous clients with securing their release for an affordable fee rather than paying an entire bail sum, including many charged with BUI, DUI or similar crimes.
For more on any of the basics surrounding boating under the influence or other related charges, or to learn about any of our bail bond services, speak to the staff at Beehive Bail Bonds today.