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Virginia Boating Under the Influence Lawyer

Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Defense

Virginia has some of the toughest drinking and driving laws in the country. Our state’s vigorous DUI/DWI enforcement carries over to boating. Smith Mountain Lake has 900 miles of shoreline and is a popular destination for recreational boating by state residents and out-of-town visitors. Smith Mountain Lake and other lakes are busy places on holiday weekends. Police officers with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will be out enforce on those weekends and are fully prepared to charge individuals with boating under the influence (BUI).

My law firm is Charles R. Allen, Jr., Attorney at Law, and I am a Virginia boating under the influence attorney and criminal defense lawyer. I have been practicing law since 1974 and have seen the number of BUI tickets go up each year. Many of the laws that apply to a DUI/DWI charge are the same for a BUI. Like a DUI, the BUI limit is .08 BAC, and the prison consequences are the same, if convicted.

There are a few laws specific to boating:

  • There is no license requirement, but a boating safety certificate is being phased in for those 14 years or older.
  • BUI laws apply to motorboats, jet skis, canoes, kayaks, sailboats and rowboats, no matter the size.
  • Failure to report a boating accident (with injuries or a loss of more than $2000) is a misdemeanor.
  • There is zero tolerance for drinking and boating under the age of 21.

Zero tolerance: According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, if you are 21, “If you are convicted of driving after illegally consuming alcohol and were found to have a BAC of 0.02 and less than 0.08, the court penalty will include a suspension of your driving privilege for one year from the date of conviction, and a minimum mandatory fine of $500, or the requirement that you complete at least 50 hours of community service.”

Roanoke Boat Accident Attorney

Many BUI charges arise out of boating accidents. A boating accident can result in several types of criminal charges and civil lawsuits:

  • A BUI charge for the driver of the boat
  • A personal injury claim against the boat owner for any injuries to passengers
  • A misdemeanor charge against passengers who fail to report any accident involving injuries
  • Charges of minor consumption for any passenger under the age of 21 who was drinking
  • Charges of drug possession if paraphernalia on the boat leads to a search and discovery of drugs

As a personal injury attorney and criminal defense lawyer, I can represent you in any charges arising from a boat accident involving drugs or alcohol

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For BUI representation, please call my Virginia law office at 540-904-1938 or toll free at 866-698-9125 to schedule an appointment. You may also send me an e-mail. I am your ally for serious legal issues.

Office Location

Charles R. Allen, Jr., Attorney at Law
120 Church Avenue S.W.
Roanoke, VA 24011
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Toll Free: 866-698-9125
Phone: 540-904-1938
Fax: 540-342-9919

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