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Which Watercrafts Can I Get a BUI On?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Anderson County BUI Defense LawyerTennessee offers some truly beautiful lakes and rivers, and there is no better way to experience these bodies of water than by boating on them. However, be careful - in Tennessee, boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol (BUI) is a crime, similar to the more well-known crime of DUI. However, the laws governing which types of boats fall under BUI laws can be confusing. If you have been charged with a BUI, it is important to get in touch with an experienced attorney. BUI is a serious crime that can lead to steep fines, jail time, and loss of boating privileges. Working with a qualified attorney reduces your risk of facing these harsh penalties. 

Which Watercrafts Fall Under BUI Statutes? 

The general rule is that if you need a license for the type of boat you are operating, you can get a BUI while driving it. This includes all motorized boats, regardless of what type of motor. It does not matter whether you are operating a speedboat capable of achieving highway-like speeds or a small fishing boat with just a trolling motor. You can get a DUI on a slow-moving tractor on land, and you can get a BUI on a slow-moving boat on the water. 

This law also includes sailboats. Sailboats can achieve high speeds and require skill and care to operate. An intoxicated person is unlikely to be able to safely operate a sailboat. 

There is, however, an exception if the boat is moored or anchored. Unlike with cars, where you could still be charged with DUI for sitting in a parked car that you are in control of while intoxicated, it is permissible in Tennessee to consume alcohol on a boat that is properly anchored or moored. 

Which Watercrafts Fall Outside BUI Statutes? 

Boats that are operated by paddling or rowing are exempt from BUI statutes. This includes paddleboats, paddleboards, rowboats, canoes, and surfboards. However, it is still important to use caution when operating these types of boats while under the influence. Other charges may result if you cause an accident.

Call a Knoxville BUI Defense Attorney

If you are facing BUI charges in Tennessee, you will want a Knoxville BUI defense lawyer with experience in BUI law. The Law Office of William F. Evans has a track record of successfully defending people accused of BUI, and will fight to do the same for you. Call 423-449-7980 for a free consultation. 



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