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The state of Georgia has hundreds of lakes and hundreds of miles of coast. Thousands of people from Georgia and the surrounding states enjoy these natural amenities each year. Of course not every lake and cove is a big destination for weekend getaways but some lakes like Lake Lanier, Lake Sinclair, and Lake Allatoona attract thousands of visitors each year. They also are the scene of many Boating Under the Influence charges being given to boaters.

A few years ago, the state of Georgia legislature revised its Boating Under the Influence laws. This change made the laws much stricter when it comes to operating watercraft. Many people don’t realize how similar the laws behind BUIs and DUIs are and how serious the consequences can be. 

The LaScala Law Firm has years of experience handling DUI and BUI cases in the Atlanta area and in the state of Georgia. If you have been charged with Boating Under the Influence in Georgia, contact our firm today. Michael LaScala will use his years of experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are defended. Find out more about the LaScala Law Firm by clicking here.

Call our firm for a free consultation at (404) 881-8866.

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What Georgia Law Says about Boating Under the Influence.

BUI laws in Georgia are strict. Like DUI laws, BUI laws state that the operating of a watercraft is illegal if a certain BAC limit is passed. There are a few variables to consider as well when it comes to when the BAC limit comes into play. For example, if there are people underage on the vessel or attached to the vessel (like when water-skiing). The law states that any person operating a water vessel with a BAC above .08% can be charged with a BUI. If the person operating the boat is under 21 years of age, the BAC limit drops to .02%. Also, if there is a person under 14 years of age on the boat, or on waterskis/similar attachments, then a separate ‘child endangerment’ charge can be warranted. Georgia law also states that it is illegal to allow a person with a BAC above the legal limit to operate your vessel for you, in this case two BUI charges can be handed out.

BUI laws also are broader than other states because they encompass almost all maneuverable watercraft. Motor powered boats, sailboats, water skis, jetskis, and even surfboards are all fair game for an enforcement official to stop and determine whether the conductor is under the influence. 

Unlike DUIs, if a person is operating a watercraft on any public body of water, a law enforcement official can stop their vessel for a safety/sobriety inspection. Under Georgia DUI laws, for an officer to pull over a motor vehicle on the road, there must be probable cause. This is not the case for BUI charges.

Why Work with the LaScala Law Firm.

Attorney Michael LaScala has years of experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. Michael is one of the most recognizable criminal defense attorneys in the Atlanta area and has represented athletes, elected officials, and other public figures. He has represented hundreds of clients in DUI and other criminal cases throughout his years in private practice.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a Boating Under the Influence offense, contact The LaScala Law Firm today. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Michael LaScala can help better your outcome and avoid the worst consequences.