Boating while under the influence (BUI) refers to operating a watercraft after drinking alcohol or using drugs. BUI is similar to DUI, but instead of operating a motor vehicle the individual operates a boat. In Texas, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated is a Class B misdemeanor with a minimum jail sentence of three days and possible $4,000 fine. 

How Does Texas Define BUI?

It is a crime in Texas if a person is intoxicated while operating any type of watercraft.

What Is Considered A "Watercraft" in Texas?

A watercraft is considered a:

  • Vessel
  • An aquaplane
  • Device use for transporting or carrying an individual on a vessel
  • One or more water skis
  • Any other device that is traditionally propelled by a current of water

What Is the Punishment for BUI in Texas?

BUI is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. A person faces a criminal punishment of:

  • Minimum jail term of three days, but possibly up to 180 days in county jail
  • $4,000 fine
  • County jail time and a fine

Would My Second BUI Charge Also Be a Class B Misdemeanor?

No, prior BUI convictions are considered enhancements, meaning that subsequent charges will face harsher punishments because of the existence of those prior convictions. As a result, a second BUI charge is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by:

  • Minimum of 30 days in county jail
  • Possible county jail sentence up to one year
  • $4,000 fine
  • Fine and county jail time

If someone has two or more BUI convictions or a victim sustained serious bodily injury during the accident, it is a third degree felony. A third degree felony is punishable by:

  • Two to 10 years in state prison
  • $10,000
  • Fine and prison time

Should I Contact a Criminal Lawyer about My BUI Charge in Texas?

A BUI charge is a serious criminal charge that is difficult to combat against without the assistance of a lawyer. Contact a Texas DUI/DWI criminal lawyer about your BUI charge immediately to discuss how to resolve your case fast.