Boating Under the Influence (BUI) in Tennessee


“TWRA wants boaters to recognize the effects and consequences of alcohol use while boating. In a boat on the water, consuming one beer is equivalent to drinking three beers on land because of external stressors such as engine vibration, wave motion and glare from the sun.¬†Operating a boat with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or higher is illegal in Tennessee, the same as operating a motor vehicle.”

Based upon this statement found on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website, officers on Tennessee waterways may be more likely to arrest someone for boating under the influence (BUI) than someone who consumed the same amount of alcohol for the offense of driving a motor vehicle under the influence (DUI).

It is important for Tennessee residents and visitors alike to realize that to be subject to arrest for the offense of boating under the influence (BUI), one need only:

1. Be operating any vessel subject to registration (unlike the Tennessee DUI laws which require the vehicle to be motorized);

2. While on public waters of the state;

3. While

a. Under the influence of any intoxicant OR

b. With a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or greater.

Tennessee law also provides certain legal exceptions in boating under the influence (BUI) cases.  If you are arrested for BUI in Tennessee, you should promptly consult with an attorney about the facts of your case to preserve defenses and avoid the onerous penalties involved with a BUI conviction.

Because of the similarities in why persons are arrested for boating under the influence and for driving under the influence, persons charged with BUI in Tennessee should seek an attorney experienced in the intricacies of DUI defense. It is also just as important in BUI cases as it is in DUI cases that the defense investigation begins as soon as possible after the arrest in order to obtain the best possible chance of a successful outcome.

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  1. #1 by derekpm - July 12th, 2009 at 10:32

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  2. #2 by How I Lost 30 Pounds in 30 Days Without Diet - July 23rd, 2009 at 18:23

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  4. #4 by Traffic Ticket Defense Toronto - May 5th, 2010 at 11:41

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