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Archive for the ‘Boating under the influence’ tag

Boating While Impaired in Illinois

September 20th, 2018 at 11:34 am

Cook County boating while intoxicated lawyerIn Illinois, we are lucky to be located near Lake Michigan and other smaller lakes that are sprinkled throughout the state. Nice weather often calls for days spent with family and friends on a boat. For most people, these fun activities often involve the enjoyment of alcoholic beverages. However, what most people do not think about is the potential that they may face criminal charges while driving or operating a boat under the influence of alcohol.

What Is Boating Under the Influence?

In Illinois, the same law applies to boating under the influence of alcohol as for driving under the influence (DUI). If you are operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08%, you can be charged with DUI. Additionally, operating a boat under the influence of drugs can also result in a DUI charge.

Picture the vessel in which you suspect a person would get in trouble for boating under the influence. Is it a speedboat? A person can be charged with boating under the influence when operating any number of different vessels, including yachts, sailboats, personal watercrafts, fishing boats, etc. Do not get fooled into thinking you are safe from a DUI charge just because you are not on a speedboat on the lake.

Who Can Test Me?

The law in Illinois dictates that a person consents to be tested for drugs and alcohol when they choose to operate their boat on the water. A person may refuse to participate in a drug or alcohol detection test, but that refusal will likely lead to an arrest and suspension of boating privileges for up to two years.

Boats can be “pulled over” just like cars on land if law enforcement suspects that you are operating your boat under the influence of alcohol. Busy days on the water and popular holidays can even lead to a checkpoint being set up to find those who are operating their boat under the influence.

Consequences of Boating Under the Influence

Just like a DUI in a car, a DUI on a boat can land an individual in a world of trouble. Driver’s license suspension, jail time, fines and costs, and probation are just a few of the penalties that can result from a boating under the influence charge. Additionally, multiple offenses will cause a boat driver to be in more trouble and face steeper sentences.

Contact a Cook County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DUI for boating under the influence, dedicated Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley can help you understand your options for defending against these charges. Contact us at 847-394-3200 to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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.


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.


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