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Boating Under the Influence

Boats, like cars and trucks, don’t mix with alcohol. And if you drink and drive a boat, law enforcement officers who work in marine units will be on the lookout for you.

If you’ve been accused of driving a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could be facing some serious charges in New Hampshire. That’s why you’ll want to call New Hampshire attorney Michael Anzalone. He can help you work through the charges and get your life back on track as quickly as possible.

The first thing your DUI lawyer will advise you is to never get behind the wheel of any vehicle _ whether it is a car, truck or boat _ while under the influence. And it’s not just alcohol. Drugs can also cause a driver to be impaired. The bottom line is don’t drink or take drugs and drive.

If you are caught boating under the influence, you can be charged with BUI in New Hampshire.

What are the Penalties for BUI?

Law enforcement officials in New Hampshire take drunken driving cases very seriously. They are constantly watching for impaired drivers on the roads and in the waterways.

The penalties for a BUI offense are similar to the DUI or DWI cases. State statute 265-A:2 outlines the charges and penalites.

For a first offense, a driver of a boat faces a Class B misdemeanor. This means the person will receive a minimum fine of $500 plus a court-imposed penalty assessment. The driver will be sent to an Impaired Driver Care Management Program, which is also referred to as IDCMP. In all likelihood, the driver will also be ordered to complete a drug and alcohol screening. If officials find a substance abuse issue, the driver will then be ordered to complete a substance abuse evaluation and a service plan that is recommended.

For the first offense, be prepared to lose your driver’s license for between 9 months and two years. And, before you can drive again, you’ll have to complete an approved driver education program and get SR-22 insurance, which is a minimum auto liability insurance policy.

Of course, these conditions are for a routine first arrest on BUI charges. There are exceptions, depending on the circumstances of your case.

The fines and penalties rise from here.

A second BUI conviction in New Hampshire, for example, comes with jail time along with losing your driver’s license for 3 years. That’s in addition to all the substance abuse programs detailed above.

If you are unfortunate enough to get convicted a third time, you can expect more jail time, and you’ll be labeled as an habitual offender. You’ll also lose your driving privileges for up to five years. This, too, is in addition to all the other programs detailed above.

Your BUI attorney can help you understand all of these charges.

It’s in your best interest to contact New Hampshire lawyer Michael Anzalone if you’ve been accused of using drugs or alcohol while driving a boat. Call today or fill out our online form to receive a free consultation with The Anzalone Law Firm.

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