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:
- 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
- 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 criminal lawyer about your BUI charge immediately to discuss how to resolve your case fast.