Kansas BUI Defense Attorney Answers Your Questions about Kansas “BUI” Charges

In the United States, the first day of summer is marked by the summer solstice which this year happens to be on June 21st. While this may be the “official” start of summer, many Americans would argue that Memorial Day weekend is the true start to the season. This three day weekend has many Kansas residents headed to their favorite camping spots or summer cabins—many with boats in tow of course. And who can blame them—it is hard to beat cruising the lake on a pontoon boat leisurely taking in the sites and the sunshine. However, as much fun as boating can be—it can also be dangerous. In 2012, there were 27 boating accidents in Kansas which resulted in two deaths and injuries to 13 others. Drinking while boating can greatly increase the likelihood of being involved in an accident. If you love to boat, make sure that you are aware of the laws regarding boating under the influence, or “BUI”.  The following are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding BUI:

  1. What is BUI? BUI stands for boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Just like a DUI that occurs on the roadways, it is also illegal to operate a boat or personal watercraft while intoxicated. A person can be arrested for BUI if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. Persons under the age of 21 are considered to be legally intoxicated with a BAC of .02% or higher.
  2. Is it against the law to consume alcohol on a boat? No, in Kansas it is perfectly legal to consume alcohol while on a boat. However, it is illegal to be impaired while boating.
  3. Can a boat owner/operator avoid a BUI by having his or her child ‘drive’ the boat? The answer to this question is it that is depends on the age and skill of the child. An intoxicated boat owner/operator who allows a child under the age of 12 to ‘drive’ the boat can be charged with BUI. The same is true if the child is born after January 1, 1989 but has not completed a boater safety course. A boat owner can also find him or herself in hot water for allowing a person who is intoxicated to operate his or her boat. To avoid any problems, always designated a sober ‘seasoned’ boater to operate your boat.
  4. What are the penalties for BUI? BUI penalties in Kansas can include fines, jail time and loss of boating privileges.
  5. If I get a BUI, do I need a Kansas BUI Defense Attorney? While there is no legal requirement to hire an attorney, it is nonetheless important to have one. Specifically, getting a Kansas BUI can be just as serious as being charged with a DUI, and that is why having competent legal counsel by your side is critical. A Kansas BUI Defense Attorney can help to mitigate your charges, if not have them completely dropped. Accordingly, their skill, knowledge, and experience is vital, and can make the difference between jail time and your freedom.

Remember that while consuming alcohol on a boat may seem like a lot more fun than when consumed on shore it also can be more hazardous. It is estimated that a person consuming alcohol becomes intoxicated three times faster while on the water as opposed to while on dry land. There are many individual factors that can contribute to how quickly a person can become intoxicated—but there are also external elements that play a part as well. For example, sun, glare, wind, and the motion of the waves can all cause a person to become intoxicated much faster.

If you have been arrested and charged with boating under the influence or BUI, you need to speak with an experienced Kansas BUI Defense Attorney as soon as possible. For more than 35 years, The Whitman Law Offices has provided the residents of Lawrence and Northeast Kansas with aggressive representation in alcohol-related offenses. Attorney Charles E. Whitman will take the time carefully evaluate your case and investigate any and all defenses. To schedule your free and completely confidential consultation, call The Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460. Arrangements can also be made to visit you in jail, so do not delay—contact us today.

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