Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a criminal offense in the state of South Carolina, and may be punishable of up to a $6000 fine, and/or up to three years imprisonment. Further, an operator may lose the privilege to operate for up to two years. Felony BUI penalties may carry penalties of up to a $25,000 fine, and as much as 25 years imprisonment. This is very similar to driving under the influence laws in the state of South Carolina.
The next condition one may have to fulfill when charged with BUI is the mandatory and successful completion of a South Carolina Boating Safety course and an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action course. These are required at the operator/violators expense.
Boating under the influence is similar to driving under the influence as to what is considered a BUI. BUI is defined as being under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that you cannot operate in a safe manner. The state of South Carolina considers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher to be under the influence of alcohol. Further, if a person is under the age of 21, they may not operate the boat if they have a .02 concentration or over.
By boating on South Carolina waters, you are deemed to have consented to alcohol testing by the DNR. If you or a loved one has been charged with such an offense, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP for a consultation. You can reach our Baxter Village office in Fort Mill, South Carolina at 803-548-4444, or toll free at 877-374-5999.