2 Things to Know About Illinois’ BUI Laws Before You Hit the Water

 Posted on June 24,2020 in DUI

Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney BUI

Summer is a beautiful time in northern Illinois. Temperatures rise and allow everyone to spend time outdoors after a long and cold winter. With one of the country’s Great Lakes next door and a sprinkling of smaller lakes and rivers throughout the state, boating and other watersports are a favorite summer pastime for many Illinoisians. Spending time with family and friends often includes alcohol, which can make for a fun time, but it can also cause issues if you are not responsible. In Illinois, operating a boat and operating a car are two very comparable things from a legal standpoint. Many people do not realize that there are laws in Illinois that make it illegal for you to operate a boat or other watercraft while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are charged with boating under the influence (BUI), the penalties can be harsh.  Therefore, it is important that you are aware of them so you do not unintentionally break them.

BUI Laws Do Not Apply Only to Alcohol

Just like driving under the influence (DUI), there are multiple ways you could be charged with a BUI. The Illinois Boat Registration and Safety Act states that a person is guilty of BUI if he or she is in control of the watercraft and:

  • The driver has a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater

  • There are 5 nanograms or more of THC per milliliter of whole blood in his or her system

  • The driver is under the influence of any drug (legal or illegal), alcohol, or a combination of both that renders him or her incapable of safely operating the watercraft

You Could Face Felony Charges for a BUI

Much like a first-time DUI offense, a first-time BUI offense is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. This means that a person who is convicted of DUI faces up to $2,500 in fines, up to one year in prison, or a combination of the two. In some cases, however, the charges can be elevated to felony charges if the circumstances are serious enough. For example, a person can be charged with a Class 4 felony if this is his or her second BUI conviction or if the BUI resulted in the great bodily harm, disability, or disfigurement of another person. In those cases, the person would likely face between one and 12 years in prison.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

With Independence Day coming up, police officers and other law enforcement officials will be specifically looking for individuals who are driving or boating under the influence. If you or someone you know is facing a DUI or BUI charge, you should immediately contact a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows, IL drunk driving defense lawyer. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has been working in criminal defense for 20 years and has the experience you are looking for in a qualified defense lawyer. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-253-8400. 




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