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What Happens if I am Charged With Boating Under the Influence in CA?

Oftentimes, people who have been charged with BUI, or boating under the influence, do not realize the severity of the penalties they may face. However, if you are currently facing these charges, you must understand that you absolutely have a lot on the line. Please continue reading and speak with our experienced Red Bluff criminal lawyer to learn more about these charges and how our legal team can help you fight them. Here are some of the questions you may have:

How does law enforcement define “boating under the influence?”

In the state of California, you can be charged with boating under the influence in many different circumstances. For example, if you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher while operating a recreational vessel, you will most like receive a BUI. You should also note that if you were operating a commercial vessel at the time, you only require a blood alcohol concentration of .04% to face BUI charges. That being said, you may also receive a BUI if the arresting officer simply determined that you were impaired to an “appreciable degree” by drugs or alcohol.

What are the potential penalties for boating under the influence in California?

If you are charged with boating under the influence in California, there is a very good chance that you will face a wide array of consequences. Depending on whether this is your first, second, or subsequent offense, the potential penalties you may face vary. For a first-offense BUI, you may face up to six months of jail time and up to $1,000 in fines. In some cases, however, you may be offered probation, in which case you will have to complete a substance abuse education or treatment program. For a second or subsequent BUI offense within 7 years of the first, you will most likely have to spend up to 1 year in jail and face up to $1,000 in fines. Those convicted of BUIs in California will also have to complete a boater safety course approved by the California Department of Boating and Waterways within six months of their conviction. If you have any further questions or you’ve been charged with a BUI in California, the time to act is now. Our Red Bluff criminal lawyer is here to help. Give us a call today.


Here at Cohen Criminal Law, we believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Our mission is to defend your rights, and we are committed to that mission. We will be your number one advocate through every step of the process. Attorney Cohen has fought on behalf of those charged with crimes for over 30 years, and he is ready to fight for you, too. Contact Cohen Criminal Law today to schedule your free initial consultation with our firm.