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Boat Crash Leads to BUI Arrest in Atlanta

Lake Allatoona Boat Crash Leads to One BUI Arrest Over Weekend

BUIA boat crash on Lake Allatoona in Atlanta, GA late on Saturday evening, July 5th, led to one BUI arrest, or boating under the influence.

Several boats were reportedly on Lake Allatoona for a yacht club-sponsored fireworks display.  Witnesses reported that, around 11:30 PM, a ski boat hit a cabin cruiser-style boat from behind, going up and over the boat, causing injuries to the passengers on board and leading to a BUI arrest. Five passengers, including a 4-month-old baby, were injured in the BUI crash,.  Fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Joseph S. Tofil, 50, of Canton, GA, was arrested on BUI charges related to the accident. He was released on $800 bail early on Sunday morning. He was driving the ski boat at the time of the accident.

Police report that 27 people were arrested on BUI charges over the holiday weekend. Georgia police presence on the state’s lakes and rivers increased for the July 4th weekend as part of Operation Dry Water, an annual event that aims to prevent BUI accidents and injuries by watching for intoxicated and unsafe boaters.

The Allatoona BUI accident was, according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mark McKinnon, the only serious BUI accident over the weekend. There were no reports of drowning.

Boating Under the Influence (BUI) In South Carolina

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources does not list the boating and alcohol laws among its boating regulations. Boaters beware: You can be arrested for boating, sailing, or simply being in control of your boat while under the influence.

Penalties for Boating Under the Influence (BUI) are serious and include:

  • jail time,

  • alcohol education programs, such as ADSAP,

  • community service,

  • job loss, and

  • suspension from operating a water vehicle for up to 2 years.

The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) for both driving and boating in South Carolina is under 0.08. If your BAC is 0.08 or above, you will be assumed intoxicated. However, boaters or sailors who have a blood alcohol level between .05 and .08 may be convicted for boating under the influence when deemed intoxicated based upon other tests such as a field sobriety test.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Charges of BUI and DUI in South Carolina

Many boaters enjoy weekends or holidays on the water, especially during the 100 days of summer. Sometimes, their fun includes alcoholic beverages. However, it is important to know that South Carolina law prohibits operating any kind of motor vehicle, including a boat, under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your blood alcohol content reads 0.08 or above, you will be presumed intoxicated.

If you have been charged with boating under the influence (BUI), you could feel scared or alone. These charges can be just as frightening as charges for driving under the influence. Just because you have received DUI or BUI charges does not automatically mean that you are guilty. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have helped people who face DUI charges since 1996. We offer free, confidential consultations so you can discuss the facts of your case with impunity. Contact us for help today. 803.252.4800



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