Summer is approaching and many people are excited to enjoy summer activities like swimming, fishing, and boating. Alcohol and summer fun often go hand in hand. However, criminal charges for operating a boat under the influence of alcohol can bring summer enjoyment to an abrupt halt. If you are an Illinois resident, it is crucial that you understand state laws prohibiting boating under the influence (BUI) and the penalties associated with a BUI conviction.
Illinois Laws Regarding Drug and Alcohol Use on a Boat
Illinois Conservation Police report that 16 individuals lost their lives in boating accidents last year. Four of those fatalities involved impairment by drugs or alcohol. Although many people see drinking while boating as less dangerous than drunk driving, both are associated with increased risk of injuries and fatalities.
To reduce the number of boat accidents and injuries, Illinois penalizes BUI harshly. Under Illinois law, it is illegal to be in “actual physical control” of a pontoon, fishing boat, jet ski, or other watercraft if:...