Calling all boaters, it is illegal to drive a boat while under the influence of alcohol with a BAC level above .08. Instead of receiving a DUI (driving under the influence) charge, an individual suspected of drunk driving a boat would be charged with a BUI (boating under the influence).
Just last week, Erin Brockovich, who’s dramatic life story was portrayed by actress Julia Roberts, was booked with BUI when a Lake Mead game warden approached her boat to investigate a yelling match occurring between herself and her husband. Not only did the Nevada game warden hear yelling and screaming, but he watched Erin throw her cell phone into the water and then slap her husband across the face.
The warden suspected possible BUI, noting Erin’s slurred speech and odor of alcohol. When asked to dock her boat, Erin replied to the warden, “not very good at driving,” The warden himself assisted Erin and her husband with docking the boat safely.
Erin’s breathalyzer test reveled BAC levels of .186 and .190, twice the legal limit! Brockovich was arrested and charged with BUI.
In remorse of her drunk driving decisions, Erin released the following statement. “I apologize for my actions Friday evening. After a day in the sun and with nothing to eat it appears that a couple of drinks had a greater impact than I had realized. It is very important to note that I was not operating the boat in open waters, I was moving it within its own slip. At no time was the boat away from the dock and there was no public safety risk. That being said, I take drunk driving very seriously, this was clearly a big mistake, I know better and I am very sorry.”
In Washington State a BUI charge is a misdemeanor charge. BUI maximum penalties include 90 days in jail and/or a $1000.00 fine.
Written by S.O