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BUI - Boating Under the Influence in Washington State

boating and drinking

Boating Under The Influence In WA

Thousands will turn out for the annual Seafair festivities on Lake Washington this year and it should be a perfect day on Lake Washington for most. The ones who may not have so much fun are those caught BUI. For many, alcohol is as big a part of Seafair as the hydroplane races and the Blue Angels. Local police agencies will once again dramatically increase patrols leading to hundreds of arrests and charges.


With the arrival of warmer weather comes increased boating on area waterways. While alcohol consumption is often seen and accepted as part of the boating experience Washington legislation sees it otherwise. Our laws prohibit Boating while under the influence just as it does Driving while under the influence. Area law enforcement is increasingly on the look-out for boat operators impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. King County Courts are seeing ever more charges relating to this crime, "Operation of a vessel Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor," also known as "BUI" or "Boating under the influence." RCW 79A.60.040.

While similar to DUI legislation in theory, a BUI is a distinct charge. It is governed by a different statute. RCW 79A.60.040. Boating under the influence is a gross misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine.

Any criminal charge is a serious matter as it always carries the potential for jail time and monetary penalties. Veitch Ault & Associates is ready and able to defend you no matter if the offense occurs on land or water. Call us today for a free consultation. Veitch Ault & Associates is dedicated to helping those accused of DUI and BUI and our experienced BUI lawyers will ensure the best possible outcome for your valued clients or loved ones.

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Veitch Ault & Associates offers exceptional representation for those charged with any misdemeanor offense from DUI and serious traffic matters, to DV-Assault.