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Boating Under the Influence Injuries in South Carolina

Boating Under the Influence Injuries in South Carolina

Drugs and alcohol can impair balance, judgment, and coordination. They can cause delayed reaction time, mistakes in depth perception, nausea, dizziness, and even unconsciousness. Alcohol in particular is not only dangerous in regards to driving, it can be just as deadly in regards to operating a boat on the open water.

Like cars and trucks, boats can weigh thousands of pounds, making them dangerous when carelessly operated by impaired boaters. “Research has proven that one-third of the amount of alcohol that it takes to make a personal legally intoxicated on land can make a boater equally intoxicated on the water,” according to the Boat South Carolina Course.

BUI is Against the Law

Like other states, it’s illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of alcohol or drugs. This means it’s against the law for anyone to operate a motorized vessel or sail boat on South Carolina waters while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, and this can include prescriptions.

If an intoxicated boater injured you or someone you love, he or she could be facing serious penalties under South Carolina’s boating under the influence (BUI) law. The penalties for BUI include:

  • A fine not to exceed $6,000.
  • Privilege to operate a boat may be suspended up to two years.
  • Successful completion of an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Course (at the boater’s expense).
  • Successful completion of a South Carolina boating safety course (at the boater’s expense).
  • Felony BUI is punishable by up to 25 years in prison and by a fine not to exceed $25,000.

Related: Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in SC

If someone is arrested for BUI, not only can they face criminal charges, but if they hurt anyone as a result of their intoxicated boating, their victims have the legal right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault boater.

If you are interested in filing a personal injury claim for injuries sustained in an impaired boating accident, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC today.


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