Boating Under the Influence in St. George
Let BUI Attorney Edward D. Flint Protect Your Rights & Freedom
There are plenty of federal and state lakes and reservoirs to enjoy boating in Utah, like Sand Hollow State Park, Quail Creek Reservoir, and Lake Powell. Unfortunately, alcohol consumption is sometimes involved, which can result in a boating under the influence (BUI) charge. If you have been arrested for BUI in Utah, you must hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you avoid serious criminal penalties.
Utah BUI and Field Sobriety Tests
Boat cases use non-standard field sobriety tests because boats rock and move and deck space is limited. You cannot perform standard tests such as the one leg stand or the 9-step walk and turn tests, so officers may use the finger count, finger to nose, and other less accurate tests. These tests have been replaced by the Standardized tests from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) manual.
When It Comes to Field Sobriety Tests in Utah, There Are a Few Important Things to Consider:
- You are not required to perform any field sobriety tests, so don’t;
- You are required to submit to a chemical test (breath or blood, officer’s choice) and if you refuse, you drivers license will be suspended for 18 months minimum and the officer will obtain a warrant and draw your blood anyway.
- Submit to the chemical test AFTER you are arrested. Utah Code 41-6a-520 is the implied consent law.
Utah BUI Laws
Utah doesn’t have a separate set of laws for BUI offenses. Rather, the courts prosecute BUI under the state’s DUI statutes. This means operating a “vehicle or motor vehicle” (whether it’s a car or boat) within the state (either on a road or waterway) while having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .05 percent or under the influence of drugs/alcohol to a point that is considered dangerous to operate a vehicle.
Not only can state police officers investigate and arrest individuals for BUI, but also officers of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and other park rangers. However, parties other than the state police must have certification in Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) in order to make BUI arrests.
BUI Penalties in Utah
It is important to note that both state and federal boat cases always involve other charges, because rangers need another violation to board the boat (i.e. running lights not on 2 minutes after sunset or an open container of alcohol). Those kinds of violations rack up huge fines, in addition to the BUI.
The Following Are the Penalties for a First-Time Bui Offense:
- A jail sentence of up to six months (with a minimum of 48 hours behind bars)
- A maximum fine of $1,000 (not including court fees)
- Fines range from $1,420 to $1,943 with surcharges and court fees
- Driver’s license suspension for up to 120 days
- This increases to 2 years on a second or subsequent offense, includes alcohol restricted license and ignition interlock requirements, and stays on your record for 10 years minimum
In federal court the penalties are similar - they also enforce the 2 days of jail, usually at either the Kane or Washington County jail, and the magistrate judge requires that court convene in tiny Big Water, Utah, near Lake Powell. As your attorney, I can almost always get the case resolved in St. George, and often with no jail.
Ready to Start Your Defense Today
An arrest doesn’t automatically mean guilt. You still have a chance to fight the charges against you with the help of a St. George BUI defense lawyer. I am prepared to guide you through the complexities of the criminal justice system and ensure you get the most favorable outcome.
I am committed to helping you get your charges/penalties reduced or your entire case dismissed. I can thoroughly review your case, figure out your available legal options, and protect your rights and future throughout the legal process. With more than 33 years of legal experience with over 100 jury trials under my belt, I understand what it takes to obtain the best possible results inside and outside the courtroom.
Providing representation for BUI cases in Lake Powell, Gunlock Reservoir, Sand Hollow Reservoir, Quail Creek Reservoir, and Zion National Park.
Call (435) 740-8460 today for more information about my legal services in Washington County.
- More than Three Decades of Experience
- Experience with Over 100 Jury Trials
- Trustworthy Reputation in the Legal Community
- Reasonable Payment Plans Available