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What Are the Penalties for Boating Under the Influence in Michigan?
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What Are the Penalties for Boating Under the Influence in Michigan?

Michigan’s abundant lakes and waterways are a boater’s paradise, offering many opportunities for recreation and relaxation. However, with the freedom of navigating these waters comes a responsibility to understand and adhere to the laws that govern boating activities. One of the critical areas where the law regulates boating under the influence (BUI). The penalties for BUI in Michigan are severe and are designed to ensure the safety of all waterway users. It is of utmost importance for boat operators to be aware of these regulations and the potential consequences of their violation. If you were charged with a BUI, seek legal guidance immediately. As your attorney, I, Bradley J. Friedman, can guide you through the criminal defense process.

Michigan Law on Boating Under the Influence

In Michigan, it is illegal to operate a motorboat if you are under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. The law stipulates that individuals with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, 210 liters of breath or 67 milliliters of urine are considered to be under the influence. Furthermore, the presence of any amount of a controlled substance listed in Schedule 1 under section 7212 of the public health code without a prescription also constitutes a violation.

Potential Penalties for BUI

The consequences of operating a motorboat while under the influence in Michigan are severe and multi-faceted, highlighting the state’s commitment to maintaining safety on its waterways.

  1. For First-Time Offenders: Violators may face hefty fines, community service, and even incarceration. The severity of the penalty often depends on the specific circumstances of the offense, including the operator’s BAC at the time of arrest.
  2. Serious Incidents: If the operator of a motorboat under the influence causes an accident causing death or serious impairment of a body function to another person, the operator is guilty of a felony. Punishments can include imprisonment for up to 15 years, fines ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, or both.
  3. Underage Operators: Individuals less than 21 years of age face strict scrutiny. Operating a motorboat with a bodily alcohol content of at least 0.02% can lead to significant legal repercussions, especially if another person who is less than 16 years of age is occupying the motorboat.

The Urgency of Legal Guidance

Facing charges for boating under the influence can be a daunting experience, with significant implications for your freedom, reputation, and financial well-being. In these trying times, the value of experienced legal assistance cannot be overstated. An adept attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system, advocate on your behalf and strive for the best possible outcome given the circumstances of your case.

Discuss the Next Steps With an Attorney

The joy of boating in Michigan’s beautiful lakes comes with a responsibility to abide by the laws designed to ensure everyone’s safety. The penalties for boating under the influence are severe and warrant a proactive approach to legal defense if you find yourself facing such charges. As your trusted attorney, I, Bradley J. Friedman, am dedicated to protecting your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case. Call today for a consultation.

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