Operation Dry Water Helps Prevent BUI in Georgia
As July 4th approaches, law enforcement in Georgia will be increasingly present on lakes and rivers across the state for the annual Operation Dry Water Campaign to help prevent BUI – boating under the influence.
For three days – June 27th through June 29th – boaters in Georgia can expect to see more local, state, and federal law enforcement agents patrolling the waters as part of Operation Dry Water, a campaign that seeks to educate and remind boaters about watercraft safety and BUI crashes.
“There’s always a problem when there is any boating under the influence,” said Capt. Mark Padgett, of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources’ law enforcement division in Thomson.
According to Padgett, the Thomson region – which runs from South Carolina to Newton County, GA – has not had an “overwhelming” number of BUIs so far this year, but boating is always heaviest during July 4th. And this year, the 4th falls on a Friday, which means that BUIs could be heaviest over that weekend.
So far this year, the state of Georgia has seen 74 BUI arrests, 35 BUI-related accidents, and 30 drownings.
“Boating should be a fun and enjoyable time spent with friends and family,” said John Fetterman, the deputy executive director of National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. “We are asking that boaters make sure their voyage remains enjoyable by boating sober. Too many accidents and deaths are caused by those who choose to boat under the influence.”
Last year’s Operation Dry Water involved 513 agencies, 290 BUI and boating safety arrests, and 17,000 citations for boating safety violations. Operation Dry Water began in 2009, and claims a 37% decrease in BUI-related accident deaths. However, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators says that BUI accidents are still the leading contributor of boating deaths.
In March 2013, Georgia changed its BUI laws, so that the legal blood alcohol limit for DUI and BUI is the same – 0.08.
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