DUI and BUI Defense Attorney Serving all of Rhode Island

When summer comes to the Ocean State, Rhode Island residents and visitors flock to State’s many waterways for summer fun.   During this time, the Rhode Island State Police and Department of Environmental Management (DEM) turn their attention to patrolling the waterways for people boating under the influence (BUI).

If you or a loved one has been charged with boating under the influence, call the experienced Rhode Island BUI lawyers at Abilheira Law today.

What is boating under in influence?

In Rhode Island, the law prohibits individuals from operating or driving a watercraft while intoxicated. A watercraft is widely defined to include any device that allows for transportation by water and has even been interpreted to include canoes and other boats without motors.

BUI penalties

The penalties for BUI, much like those for DUI, hinge on the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the operator. Individuals may face a civil violation, misdemeanor or felony depending on their BAC level.

First Offense BUI- BAC of .08% to .1%

Individuals in this category will face a civil violation with penalties that may include:

  • Suspension of the individual’s privilege to operate a watercraft for 45 days
  • A fine of $100 to $250
  • Ten (10) to sixty (60) hours of community service
  • Attendance at a Boating Safety Course approved by DEM

First Offense BUI- BAC of .1% to .15% or BAC unknown

Individuals in this category will face a criminal misdemeanor charge, which may result in jail time for up to one year and other mandatory penalties including:

  • Suspension of the individual’s privilege to operate a watercraft for 3 to 6 months
  • A fine of $100 to $300
  • Ten (10) to sixty (60) hours of community service
  • Attendance at a Boating Safety Course approved by DEM and/or alcohol or drug treatment

First Offense BUI- .15% or above

Individuals in this category will also face a criminal misdemeanor charge, which may result in up to one year in jail and other mandatory penalties including:

  • Suspension of the individual’s privilege to operate a watercraft for 3 to 6 months
  • A fine of $500
  • Twenty (20) to sixty (60) hours of community service
  • Attendance at a Boating Safety Course approved by DEM and/or alcohol or drug treatment

Enhanced BUI penalties

Anyone convicted of a second or third BUI within a five (5) year period will face enhanced penalties, including mandatory jail time.

Individuals may also face enhanced penalties for BUI if they are found to be boating under the influence with children under the age of thirteen (13) in the watercraft.

Additionally, anyone who operates a watercraft under the influence and causes the death or serious bodily injury of another, shall be charged with a felony and may face mandatory jail time of one (1) to three (3) years.

Experienced RI BUI lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with BUI in Rhode Island, contact the boating under the influence defense lawyers at Abilheira Law today.  Our dedicated attorneys will fight to keep you out of jail and out on the water!

Don’t wait- call Abilheira Law today- 401-245-5100.