PATTERSON MOORE BUTLER
ATTORNEYS & MEDIATION
attorney cumming ga

BUI Lawyer

BUI or boating under the influence means operating a boat or PWC (personal watercraft) which includes jet skis, wave runners, sailboards and water skis while under the influence or alcohol or drugs. Boaters on Lake Lanier are stopped by deputies of either the Forsyth County Sherrif’s office, Hall County Sherrif’s office or a member of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources such as a game warden. The most common reasons for a stop include a routine safety check, an expired tag or registration or violation of a boating rule.

If you’ve been charged with a BUI, we will defend you against that charge and during your case our team will cite factors including whether you were under actually under the influence, what the State can prove as well as concerns for your ability to operate the vessel and your boat insurance premiums.

Call me at the earliest possible moment as the more time we have to prepare your defense, the stronger your position will be.

BUI Investigations & Testing

During the stop, if an officer smells alcohol or sees someone on the boat drinking alcohol, they are going to conduct a BUI investigation and may ask you to participate in a field sobriety test. Additionally, they may ask to search your vessel including the live well. These tests are different than the roadside field sobriety tests conducted during a DUI investigation. You may also be asked to perform a breath or blood test. Refusal to participate in these tests can result in the loss of your privilege to operate a vessel on the water in the State of Georgia for up to a year. In such cases, we can help you regain that privilege.

BUI Penalties in Georgia

The following table displays the fines and penalties that accompany a successful BUI conviction.

1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense 4th Offense
Jailtime 10 days to 12 months 90 days to 12 months 120 days to 12 months 12 to 60 months
Fine $300 to $1,000 $600 to $1,000 $1,000 to $5,000 $1,000 to $5,000
Community Service 40 hours (minimum) 30 days (minimum) 30 days (minimum) 60 days (minimum)

All BUI convictions may require a clinical evaluation, completion of a substance abuse treatment program, DUI Alcohol or drug use risk reduction program and/or a period of probation.