What is a BUI charge?

You may think you can only get a DUI if you are driving a car on a Missouri road. However, if you are drinking while operating a boat, you may find yourself charged with boating under the influence (BUI). 

In some ways, a BUI charge is similar to a DUI. FindLaw says that most state and federal authorities can pull you over if they think you are drinking. This is because it is dangerous for you to operate a boat if you are intoxicated. You are likely familiar with the effect alcohol can have on you when you drive. You may not realize, though, that these effects can sometimes become worse when you are on a boat. Wind, heat and glare can all affect your ability to operate a boat when you are out on the water for a long time and alcohol can further decrease your capabilities.

A BUI charge can carry serious consequences. Law enforcement may suspend your boating license and you may need to pay a fine. Additionally, a BUI charge might increase your boat insurance rate. These consequences can be more severe if children were on the boat while you were drinking or if you have several BUI charges on your record. 

You may think you can only receive a BUI charge if you operate a commercial boat. However, BUI laws also apply to recreational boats such as yachts and sailboats. It is important to take these laws seriously, as operating a boat while intoxicated raises the possibility of a fatal accident by about 34 percent.

This information is general in nature. It should not be used in place of legal advice.