Fort Collins

Colorado Springs

In the Heat of the Summer, Watch Out for BUI

Summer is upon us, and it’s that beautiful time of the year when we embrace the great outdoors and take to Colorado’s stunning waterways for boating adventures. Whether sailing on serene lakes, rafting down rivers or simply enjoying the tranquility of a peaceful pond, there’s no denying the allure of aquatic recreation. However, amid all the fun in the sun, it’s crucial to be aware that law enforcement is maintaining a watchful eye for boaters who might be under the influence of alcohol or marijuana. Boating under the influence, or BUI, is not only a buzzkill for your summer enjoyment but also a serious criminal offense. You are being caught while boating under the influence can result in significant consequences, including fines, potential jail time, the loss of boating privileges, and even the impoundment of your beloved boat.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in collaboration with Operation Dry Water, a nationwide campaign dedicated to reducing the incidence of drunk boating across the United States, aims to create awareness about the risks associated with boating under the influence. Operation Dry Water emphasizes the following key points:

  1. Impaired Judgment: Alcohol impairs essential cognitive and physical functions such as judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. These impairments can have dire consequences if something unexpected occurs on the water.
  1. Cold Water Effects: Boating often involves exposure to cold water, which can be especially dangerous when combined with alcohol consumption. Alcohol can lead to fatigue and increase a person’s vulnerability to the effects of cold water, potentially resulting in life-threatening situations.
  1. Volatile Boating Conditions: Boating environments are dynamic and can be influenced by sun, wind, loud noises, and erratic movements. When a boater’s capabilities are compromised by alcohol, these conditions become even riskier, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
  1. Passenger Safety: Boating safety extends beyond the operator; it encompasses all passengers on board. When passengers consume alcohol, they become more susceptible to slip-and-fall accidents. They are at a higher risk of falling overboard, jeopardizing their safety and well-being.

Under the law, operating a boat under the influence is handled in a manner akin to driving under the influence (DUI). To face BUI charges, a boater’s blood alcohol content (BAC) must exceed the legal limit of 0.08, which mirrors the criteria for DUI. It’s important to note that public consumption of marijuana is illegal in Colorado, and this prohibition extends to boating activities.

As you embark on your summer boating adventures, consider these essential safety tips:

Stay Sober: The most effective way to ensure safety on the water is to avoid alcohol or marijuana consumption while operating a boat. Designate a sober skipper to pilot the vessel and make responsible choices for everyone on board.

Secure Legal Guidance: If you face BUI charges or need legal guidance concerning alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado, don’t hesitate to seek professional legal counsel. The consequences of a BUI conviction can be severe, affecting your personal and professional life.

In this season of outdoor enjoyment, prioritize safety and responsible boating practices. Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Colorado’s lakes and rivers while adhering to the law and protecting the well-being of yourself, your passengers, and other water enthusiasts. Your safety and legal well-being are paramount, so make sure your summer adventures are enjoyable and within the bounds of the law.

For expert legal assistance and defense against alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado, turn to Thomas & Ahnell, LLC Law Firm. Their experienced and dedicated team is well-equipped to protect your rights and effectively guide you through the legal process. Have a fantastic summer exploring Colorado’s waterways, all while staying safe and legally compliant.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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