Lexington Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Lawyer
BUI is Treated as a "Zero Tolerance" Offense
During all warm-weather months in South Carolina, our local lakes are full of boaters enjoying the waters. Among all of the recreational boaters, there are many officers with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and local sheriff departments looking to make arrests. Many times, BUI is treated as a "zero tolerance" offense, meaning you may be arrested with only minimal evidence.
Boaters suspected of driving while impaired may be arrested and criminally charged with the crime boating under the influence or BUI. If convicted, it can result in penalties such as jail time, embarrassment, a permanent criminal record, hefty fines, mandatory alcohol and drug training, loss of boating privileges, and high insurance rates. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you contact a Lexington criminal attorney immediately after an arrest.
Were you arrested on Lake Murray?
James Snell's office is conveniently located in downtown Lexington, South Carolina, and is able to represent individuals charged with any boating offense on Lake Murray regardless of which agency or county is responsible for the prosecution. Mr. Snell is also able to represent individuals charged with any boating crime anywhere in South Carolina. Whether you are a resident of Lexington, Columbia or another community within the state, you can receive dedicated legal assistance from the attorney's law office.
Your Legal Rights in Lexington, SC
Boating under the influence is a serious crime in South Carolina. Regardless of the offense, you have absolute legal rights. Before and during the arrest, you have the right to remain silent, to decline field testing or the breathalyzer. After the arrest, you have a right to demand to see the evidence against you, subpoena witnesses for your defense, cross examine the police witnesses, receive a comprehensive jury trial and have a judge instruct your jury that you are innocent until proven guilty.
South Carolina BUI Law
South Carolina's BUI statute is fully entitled "operation of moving motorized water device or water device under sail while under the influence of drugs and / or alcohol." This statute criminalizes the operation of a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Following are the penalties you may face for a BUI conviction:
Boating Under the Influence (BUI) First Offense
S.C. Code §50-21-112(B)(1)
In addition to all of the other penalties described above, a conviction for boating under the influence first offense carries up to 30 days in the county jail. This offense will be prosecuted at the magistrate court level.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Second Offense
S.C. Code §50-21-112(B)(2)
A conviction for boating under the influence second offense carries up to one year in the South Carolina Department of Corrections plus all of the other standard penalties. This offense will be prosecuted at the court of general sessions.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Third Offense
S.C. Code §50-21-112(B)(3)
Those convicted of a third or subsequent BUI offense may face up to three years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. There is a minimum sentence of 60 days, and individuals in South Carolina sentenced to less than 90 days may serve their time at the county jail. The jail or prison sentence which will be imposed is in addition to all of the other penalties that come with any BUI conviction.
Get in Touch with a Lexington Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Anyone convicted of a BUI offense as a result of an accident that resulted in serious personal injuries or death faces strict prosecution and up to 25 years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. If you have been charged with any boating crime, you owe it to yourself and your family to ensure that your legal rights are protected. At Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, our Lexington criminal lawyers can be by your side throughout this entire case. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to protect those rights. Please call today to receive a confidential consultation with our head lawyer, James R. Snell.