Georgia boasts some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in all the country. From the foothills of the Appalachians to the beautiful beaches, the marshes up and down the Atlantic Coast, and hundreds of lakes throughout the state. Throughout the year, Georgia residents and out-of-state visitors go with their boats to lakes like Lake Lanier, Lake Sinclair, and Lake Allatoona. Unlike a night out on the town, boaters are sometimes unconcerned with the laws that govern the public waterways of Georgia. But, be advised, Georgia has strict Boating Under the Influence laws, and facing charges like these without the right legal representation can mean steep fines, probation, and even jail time.
Michael LaScala has handled hundreds of DUI and BUI cases throughout his legal career. As a former prosecutor, he knows both sides of the law and how to best defend his clients against the worst consequences of a BUI charge. If you or someone you know has been charged with a BUI, contact our firm today clicking here. You can also call our firm for a free consultation at (404) 881-8866.
What are the consequences of a BUI charge?
- First time BUI offenses are considered misdemeanors under Georgia law. This means that a fine of anywhere between $300 to $1000 can be handed down by a judge. A fine is not all you should worry about though, jail-time can be served and no-less than 24 hours behind bars is guaranteed. Maximum jail time can be up to 12 months. All first-time offenders are required to complete a court-mandated alcohol and drug program and up to 40 hours of community service.
- A second BUI offense, within a 10-year period from the first offense, is considered a misdemeanor. Fines increase from a minimum of $300 to a minimum of $600. The hours of community service also increase to 30 days. Jail time can range from a minimum of 72 hours to up to 1 year in jail.
- A third BUI offense, within a 10-year period from the previous offenses, is considered a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. 15 days in jail, 30 days of community service, and up to $5000 in fines are all standard consequences of this charge.
- A fourth BUI offense, within a 10-year period from the previous offenses, is a felony. Fines can range up to $5000, jail time can be up to 5 years, and community service up to 60 days.
Comparing BUI and DUI:
Will your driver’s license be suspended because of a BUI?
No. Your traditional driver’s license, that’s to say, the one you use to operate your car, cannot be taken away due to a BUI. However, unlike DUI cases, where a person has up to 30 days to appeal their license suspension, in BUI cases a boater only has 10 days to appeal their boating privilege suspension.
Can you refuse a test?
Like in DUI circumstances, in a BUI circumstances, an individual can refuse a breathalyzer test but if they refuse a chemical test (the one administered at a police precinct for example) there are consequences.
Contact Us Today!
It is important to know what your legal options are following a BUI arrest. Acting quickly can mean lesser penalties. Call The LaScala Firm for a free consultation at (404) 881-8866 or click here to contact us.