SC Man Arrested for BUI Collision on Lake Murray
The operator of a boat on Lake Murray has officially been charged with boating under the influence (BUI) for a collision on April 13th.
William Hampton, 49, was charged on Tuesday, June 11th, by state natural resources officials for felony BUI and failure to keep a lookout for other watercraft.
Officials declined to reveal what intoxication tests on Hampton revealed about the BUI collision. As with driving under the influence in South Carolina, the legal blood alcohol contact (BAC) for boating is under 0.08.
According to reports, Hampton’s boat ran into another vessel about a mile west of the Lake Murray dam. The other vessel, which was anchored, held a man and his three grandchildren. After a day of fishing, the four had decided to spend the night on the boat, which was anchored near Spence Island. Around 9 PM, Hampton’s boat collided with the other boat. All five involved in the crash were hospitalized.
One of the children suffered a broken arm, while the other two children and their grandfather were treated and released. Hampton remained in the hospital for some time after the crash.
After a lengthy investigation into all potential safety violations and hazards, investigators determined that Hampton was at fault, and had piloted his boat while intoxicated.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI) In South Carolina
South Carolina DUI laws state that it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs (legal or illegal) or any combination of alcohol and drugs. However, prosecutors must prove someone’s physical or mental ability to drive a car was impaired beyond a reasonable doubt. The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are identical to the penalties for drinking and driving.
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 include:
alcohol education programs, such as ADSAP,
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. 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