Posts Tagged BUI

Drinking and Boating

Like drinking and driving, the simple act of drinking and boating is not itself against the the law in Tennessee.  However, operating a watercraft (boat) that is subject to registration in Tennessee while under the influence is a criminal offense.  According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) the Memorial Day holiday weekend is one of the busiest boating weekends, as it is regarded as the unofficial start of summer.  TWRA officers are sure to be patrolling the waterways to enforce Tennessee boating safety.

Boaters in Tennessee are prohibited operating a boat “while under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, narcotic drug, or drug producing stimulating effects on the central nervous system.”  Tennessee Code Annotated § 69-9-217(a).  Tennessee law further provides a per se BUI law, i.e. boaters cannot operate a vessel while having a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater. Tennessee Code Annotated § 69-9-217(j)(2).

Like a Tennessee driving under the influence charge, the issues and laws surrounding a Tennessee BUI can be complicated and technical.  If you’ve been charged with Boating Under the Influence in Tennessee or have any questions about the offense of BUI, please contact the Oberman and Rice Law Firm at (865) 249-7200.

Additional information about Boating Under the Influence (BUI), as well as the related crime of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), can be also found on the Oberman & Rice websites at www.tndui.comand

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Tennessee Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Laws

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers across the state are kicking off “Operation Dry Water,” part of a nationwide crackdown on Boating Under the Influence (BUI) cases. From mid June 2011 until the end of summer, Tennessee wildlife officers and other law enforcement are spending extended hours on Tennessee’s lakes and waterways on the lookout for Boating Under the Influence violators.

In this week’s podcast, host Steve Oberman provides a summary of the Tennessee laws relating to Boating Under the Influence. The issues and laws surrounding a Tennessee BUI case can be complicated and quite technical.  While this podcast provides an overview of the Tennessee BUI laws, Steve and Sara are happy to address any questions you have and can be reached by calling (865) 249-7200.

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Additional information about Boating Under the Influence (BUI), as well as the related crime of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), can be found on the Oberman & Rice websites at and

You can also watch a video version of this podcast on YouTube.

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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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