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Boating Under the Influence in Illinois

December 14th, 2017 at 9:46 am

Boating under the influence, DUI conviction, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, BUI offender, BUI convictionDid you know that in Illinois it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Many people do not realize that, from a legal point of view, operating a boat is comparable to driving a car and that those caught operating a watercraft while under the influence can be charged with boating under the influence (BUI), which carries similar penalties to a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction.

625 ILCS 45/5-16: Operating a Watercraft Under the Influence

Section 625 ILCS 45/5-16 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (aka Illinois’ boating under the influence statute) states that it is illegal to be in actual physical control of a watercraft in Illinois while you:

  • Have a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater,
  • Are under the influence of alcohol, or
  • Are under the influence of a drug, drugs, or an intoxicating compound to the extent that you can not safely operate a watercraft.

Penalties

The penalties available for those convicted of boating while under the influence in Illinois vary significantly depending on whether or not this is the offender’s first DUI conviction, and are as follows:

  • First BUI: Punishable by imprisonment for up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,600.
  • Second or Subsequent BUI: Punishable by imprisonment for up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Furthermore, a BUI offender’s sentence can be enhanced under Illinois law if there were one or more aggravating factors present. For example, if the offender was involved in an accident that caused another to suffer great bodily harm, or if the offender was boating under the influence while their right to operate a watercraft was suspended due to a previous BUI conviction, the offender can be sentenced to serve up to three years in prison and pay a fine of up to $25,000. Additionally, if the offender was involved in an accident that cost someone their life life, then he or she can be sentenced to serve up to 14 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $25,000.

In some cases a convicted BUI offender in Illinois will also have their boating privileges suspended, be required to complete a specified number of community service hours, and/or be ordered to participate in a drug and alcohol evaluation/treatment program.

Need Legal Advice? Contact Attorney Christopher Cosley

Whether you have been charged with driving under the influence or boating under the influence in Illinois, experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley is here to help. Mr. Cosley was formerly the lead prosecutor in the DUI division of the Illinois state courts and now uses his extensive experience to defend clients across Illinois against alcohol and drug related criminal charges. Contact the office today for help.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500450K5-16

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Written by Staff Writer

December 14th, 2017 at 9:46 am

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