A boating DUI in Georgia requires a serious Georgia DUI lawyer to thoroughly analyze your case facts and begin to build a successful boating under the influence defense. You can be arrested and charged for operating any boat, sailboat, or personal watercraft (PWC) while intoxicated on Lake Lanier, Lake Allatoona, or any public body of water. The GA Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can even arrest you for being drunk on water skis or a sailboard.
Operating a boat or PWC while intoxicated is also called boating under the influence, or BUI. If you are over 21 years of age, it is illegal for you to operate a personal watercraft if your blood alcohol level is 0.08 or more. If you are under 21, that level drops to 0.02 or more.
By operating a boat or PWC in Georgia, you have automatically consented to be tested for alcohol or drugs if requested by a DNR officer.
It is also unlawful to let anyone else operate your boat who is over the legal blood alcohol limit. The DNR will pull alongside your boat and begin a drunk boating investigation that includes asking if you or anyone on the boat has been drinking, looking for open containers of alcohol, noticing the smell of alcohol or marijuana on your breath, and seeing if you show signs of someone inebriated. A DNR officer who suspects you have been drinking can ask you to blow into a portable breathalyzer.
Boating DUI Penalties if Convicted
Georgia boaters can be charged with a misdemeanor offense which will carry fines up to $1,000 and/or prison time up to 12 months. Plus, you may not be able to legally operate a boat or PWC until you complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).
If you refuse to blow into the officer’s portable breathalyzer, you will be legally barred from operating a boat or PWC for up to 12 months.
If you operate a boat or PWC under the influence while a child under the age of 14 years is on board, you also face a separate serious charge of child endangerment.
Our lawyers are professionals that take time to listen to everything that happened from the time the DNR stopped you until the time you were released from jail, and we do not give up no matter how bad the facts are. An arrest is not a conviction! Make the best call you can at this difficult time. Call DrunkDrivingDefense.com at 1-888-839-4384, speak to one of our local BUI attorneys, and get a free PDF copy of “The DUI Book”, a 400-page guide to beating a BUI charge.
More BUI Resources
If you’d like to learn more about BUI, we have several helpful articles. Click the links below to learn more details about boating under the influence.