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Is it possible to get a DUI when you’re on a kayak?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When navigating a watercraft in Rhode Island, it’s important to be aware of the laws involved. This includes any laws pertaining to drinking or taking drugs while in operation of a kayak or other watercraft. For instance, can you be given a DUI charge if you’re caught under the influence while on a kayak?

The BUI charge in Rhode Island

The simple answer to this question is that you can receive a DUI charge while on a kayak. However, there are some minor differences from what you’d deal with for these infractions while driving other types of vehicles.

Instead of DUI, the charge for operating a boat or other watercraft while under the influence in Rhode Island is called a BUI. This directly mirrors the DUI charge when it comes to suspension of license and requirement of retraining in order to maintain your boating license. This kicks in when an individual is found to be operating the kayak with blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or above.

Different levels of BUI

There are different levels of BUI in Rhode Island based on if it’s a first-time offense or beyond this, the boater’s BAC, and the severity of the circumstances. There are greater penalties of fines, sentences, and jail time even for a first offense when the individual has a higher BAC. With a BAC of at least .1 percent are required to either complete a boating safety course and/or a substance abuse treatment program, even if it was their first offense.

Safety is of utmost importance when on the public waters in Rhode Island. Even in a kayak, it’s possible to cause damage or injuries if under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Make sure you know the laws and operate your watercraft responsibly and safely.