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State Boating Under the Influence Blood Alcohol Levels

If you operate a fishing boat, sailboat, yacht, personal watercraft, or sailboard, you could be charged with Boating Under the Influence (BUI). Just like driving under the influence (DUI), legal penalties can range from civil fines and the forfeiture of your boating license, to prison time in criminal cases for causing a death while boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The U.S. Guard reports that BUI incidents increase boating fatalities by approximately thirty-four (34%) percent. A rise in alcohol and drug-related boating injuries and fatalities prompted state legislatures to enact BUI laws. This table lays ou the various Blood Alcohol Content limits for boating under the influence.

State BAC Level for boater to be itoxicated, by state Minor BAC level? If 'Yes,' the lower BAC level for minor boaters
Alabama 0.08 Yes 0.00%
Alaska 0.08 No  
Arizona 0.08 Yes 0.00%, none allowed
California 0.08 for recreational boat operators; 0.01 for minors under 21; 0.04 for commercial operator Yes 0.01; California, boaters under 21 are not allowed to consume any alcohol at all. A person under 21 with a BAC of .01 percent or more cannot even use water skis. A BAC of .01 percent to .05 percent in a boater under 21 is an infraction, with penalties similar to a traffic ticket.
Colorado 0.10 No  
Connecticut 0.08 adults; 0.02 under 21 Yes 0.02 under 21
Delaware 0.08 No  
D.C. 0.08 No  
Florida 0.08 BAC or breath alcohol level Yes BAC/breath alcohol level of 0.02 or greater
Georgia 0.1 Yes 0.02
Guam 0.08 No  
Hawaii 0.08 Yes 0
Idaho 0.08 No  
Illinois 0.08 No  
Indiana 0.08 Yes Any amount of BAC is a violation of anyone under 21 years old
Iowa 0.1 No  
Kansas 0.08 adults; 0.02 for minors Yes 0.02
Kentucky 0.08 No  
Louisiana 0.08 Yes BAC under 21 is 0.02
Maine 0.08 Yes BAC under 21, violation for any alcohol in the blood
Maryland 0.08 No  
Massachusetts 0.08 Yes 0.02
Michigan 0.1 No  
Minnesota 0.08 No  
Mississippi 0.1 No  
Missouri 0.1 No  
Montana 0.08 No  
Nebraska 0.08 No  
Nevada 0.08 No  
New Hampshire 0.08 or higher by blood, breath, or urine; or between .03 and .08 along with other evidence Yes .02 under 21 years old
New Jersey 0.08 No  
New Mexico 0.08 No  
New York 0.08 for adults; .04 for commercial operators; 0.02 under 21 years old Yes .02 under 21 years old
North Carolina .08 BAC No  
North Dakota .1 No  
Ohio 0.08 or more BAC Yes .02 BAC under 21 years old
Oklahoma 0.1 No  
Oregon 0.08 BAC No  
Pennsylvania 0.08 Yes 0.02
Rhode Island 0.08 No  
South Carolina It is unlawful for a person to operate a moving motorized water device or water device undersail upon the water of the State while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that the persons faculties to operate are materially and appreciably impaired. If there was at that time 0.08 of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood, it may be inferred that the person was under the influence of alcohol. No  
South Dakota 0.08 No  
Tennessee 0.08 No  
Texas 0.08 No  
Utah 0.08 Yes "not a drop" Minors cannot have any alcohol in their system
Vermont 0.08 Yes .02 under 21 years old
Virginia 0.08 Yes .02 under 21 years old
Washington 0.08 No  
West Virginia 0.08 No  
Wisconsin 0.08 Yes Absolute sobriety
Wyoming .1 No A defendant's BAC level will be determined through one of three methods. The most common of these methods involves analyzing the defendant's breath. Other tests examine the defendant's blood or urine. Refinements in the methods by which a defendant's BAC is determined have strengthened the ability of prosecutors to prove this BAC. However, these tests are not above reproach, and skilled defense attorneys can often successfully attack the methods by which the defendant's BAC was analyzed.

A defendant's BAC level will be determined through one of three methods. The most common of these methods involves analyzing the defendant's breath. Other tests examine the defendant's blood or urine. Refinements in the methods by which a defendant's BAC is determined have strengthened the ability of prosecutors to prove this BAC. However, these tests are not above reproach, and skilled defense attorneys can often successfully attack the methods by which the defendant's BAC was analyzed.

Consult an Experienced DUI Attorney

If you or a loved one are arrested for DUI, you may need an experienced DUI lawyer. A skilled attorney who specializes in defending DUI cases will evaluate all the evidence, including the procedure and results of any field sobriety and chemical tests, to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Plus it's important to speak to a lawyer familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction. Most offer free consultations, so your first step should be to contact an experienced DUI attorney.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified DUI attorney to make sure
your rights are protected.
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