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Boating under the influence DUI in San Diego. How to examine and beat a San Diego BUI boating under the influence. PC 655(B) Penal code 655. San Diego Boating under the influence Defense Attorney Lawyer explains. Former San Diego Prosecutor

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Boating under the influence DUI in San Diego. How to examine and beat a San Diego BUI boating under the influence. PC 655(B) Penal code 655. San Diego Boating under the influence Defense Attorney Lawyer explains. Former San Diego Prosecutor

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While DUI boating laws differ only slightly from those covering automobiles on the road, the consequences of breaking them can be no less severe. If you are accused of operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or .08% or greater, here’s what you need to know about boating and DUI, or more apty named “BUI”.

Boating Under the Influence: An Overview

California Vehicle Code 23152 prohibits the operation of any self-propelled vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The definition of “vehicle” includes cars, tractors, scooters, etc. However, since California places its waterways under a different set of laws, boating while impaired generally falls under the category of “boating under the influence” (BUI) as described in California Harbors & Navigation Code 655. Under this law, it’s illegal to operate any of the following under the influence of alcohol or drugs:

• Motorized boats and watercraft (including aquaplanes and jet skis)
• Sailboats with a motor
• Water skis, inner tubes and similar craft pulled by a boat

When you have a lot to lose, you want to be proactive to work for the best possible outcome.  Get a former prosecutor on your side.  Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz at (858) 751-4384.

For the most part, the BUI laws run parallel to DUI laws as far as legal limits and penalties for violations. Specifically:v• The legal BAC limit is the same for boats as for road vehicles (0.08 BAC);

• The legal BAC limit is 0.04 percent for commercial watercraft (e.g., tour boats, ferries, fishing boats);
• Like DUI, BUI is prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on such factors as the number of prior offenses and whether or not the injury occurred;
• Convictions for BUI may result in fines, suspension of license, and/or jail time.

That being said, there are two important differences between DUI and BUI that can catch boaters off guard if they aren’t aware of them. Let’s look at these two differences a bit more closely.

Open Container Rules Do Not Apply

California has strict rules against driving with open containers of alcohol or marijuana in the vehicle, and being pulled over with an open container may provide reasonable cause for an officer to suspect DUI. However, open containers are perfectly legal on watercraft, which means anyone on the boat can drink legally—including the operator, provided he/she hasn’t exceeded the legal 0.08 BAC limit. While this reality actually limits what officers can treat as probable cause, it also increases the risk for the person piloting the craft to exceed the legal limit in a couple of ways:

• The availability of alcohol itself, which makes it easier to overindulge; and

• The increased risk of dehydration. Boating on warm, sunny days can cause dehydration more quickly than other conditions, which can intensify the effects of alcohol in your system.

When you have a lot to lose, you want to be proactive to work for the best possible outcome.  Get a former prosecutor on your side.  Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz at (858) 751-4384.

A BUI Conviction Can Still Affect Your Driving Privileges

In some states, while a boating DUI is a crime, it is treated differently than a road violation and has no effect on the defendant’s driver’s license. However, in California, a BUI is effectively the same as a DUI, meaning a conviction can get your driver’s license suspended or revoked, depending on your prior offenses.

For you as a boater, this aspect means if you make a mistake in judgment and operate watercraft while above the legal BAC limit, you could temporarily or permanently lose your right to drive—even though your driver’s license has no bearing on your right to pilot a boat. Many an unwitting boater has been broadsided by this confusing anomaly in the law simply by exercising bad judgment on the water.  When you have a lot to lose, you want to be proactive to work for the best possible outcome.  Get a former prosecutor on your side.  Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz at (858) 751-4384.

Defending Against BUI Charge

If you feel you have been wrongly charged with boating under the influence, a skilled attorney may defend against the charges by making any of the following common arguments:

• Illegal stop or lack of probable cause. Remember, an officer must have a valid reason for stopping your craft, and open containers don’t provide probable cause because they are legal. Generally, law enforcement will stop you if they see you operating the boat in a reckless or unsafe manner, boating with missing safety equipment, etc. If they did not have a legitimate cause for stopping you or violated proper protocol, your charges may be rendered invalid.

• You were not impaired, or your performance was not due to impairment. Many factors on the water can cause someone to drive erratically, including exposure to sun, fatigue, and exhaustion—and staggering on board may be attributed as much to the waves as to possible intoxication.

• Sobriety tests were performed improperly or registered false positives. Field sobriety tests performed on wet or moving surfaces can cause even sober people to fail them. Furthermore, certain factors can generate false positives on breathalyzers, ranging from seasickness to what you just ate before the officer came aboard.

Despite the slight differences between BUI and DUI, you could still face life-altering penalties if you are convicted for operating a boat under the influence.When you have a lot to lose, you want to be proactive to work for the best possible outcome.  Get a former prosecutor on your side.  Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz at (858) 751-4384.

Hire a Proactive, affordable, and quality defense when you are facing San Diego DUI charges. Whether you have been charged with a San Diego DUI, Poway DUI, La Mesa DUI, Santee DUI, Mission Valley DUI, Clairemont DUI, Point Loma DUI, La Jolla DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Mira Mesa DUI, Pacific Beach DUI, Del Mar DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Encinitas DUI, Oceanside DUI, Escondido DUI, Vista DUI, San Marcos DUI, Carlsbad DUI, El Cajon DUI it is vital you need to hire an attorney who knows how to defend your rights and can determine if the government can prove their case. Contact the Law Office of Mark Deniz now for a free case evaluation at (858) 751-4384.

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