Avoid a Colorado Boating Under the Influence Charge This Summer
Colorado prohibits boating under the influence (BUI) as well as driving under the influence (DUI). Both criminal charges can result in serious penalties, especially if a person is convicted. An experienced Colorado Springs BUI defense attorney can help you vigorously protect your rights, but the best way to avoid a BUI conviction is never to mix boating and alcohol.
The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for operating any kind of boat or personal watercraft in Colorado is 0.08 percent, the same limit placed on operating a motor vehicle. Since 2008, Colorado’s BUI law has applied not only to motorboats and sailboats but to anyone operating any vessel or personal watercraft – even a small hand-paddled boat like a kayak.
The penalties for conviction of BUI in Colorado are steep. They include imprisonment of up to one year in jail, losing boating privileges for up to three months, a fine of up to $1,000, and up to 96 hours of community services. Probation, court costs, and other requirements can make the consequences of a BUI conviction even more onerous.
The best way to avoid a BUI conviction in Colorado is to avoid mixing alcohol and boating. If you plan to drink, wait until you are safely on shore, and do not go out on the water again until you are sober. Boating requires coordination, balance, and dexterity, all abilities that are impaired by alcohol use – even with a BAC as low as 0.35 percent, according to some studies.