Pennsylvania Boating Under the Influence Penalties
A charge of Operating Watercraft Under Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substance, in violation of 30 Pa.C.S. 5502, is a serious misdemeanor charge that carries severe penalties if a person is convicted. While a charge of Operating a Watercraft Under the Influence is different from a DUI charge in that a conviction only results in the suspension of boating privileges and not Pennsylvania driving privileges, a conviction of either offense often results in a sentence that carries mandatory jail time and fines.
Penalties for Boating Under the Influence in Pennsylvania
Sentences for convictions of Operating a Watercraft Under the Influence, commonly referred to as boating under the influence or BUI, are separated into three tiers of penalties. With regard to charges based upon the consumption of alcohol, the higher the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the person, the higher the penalty tier and the more severe the sentence imposed. An underage drinker with an alcohol concentration above .02 percent is subject to second-tier penalties.
Tier Level 1 (BAC less than .10)
- First Offense: six months probation; fine of $300
- Second Offense: mandatory minimum of five days incarceration; fine range from $300 to $2,500
- Third Offense: mandatory minimum of 10 days incarceration; fine range from $500 to $5,000
Tier Level 2 (BAC of .10 to .16)
- First Offense: mandatory minimum of 48 hours incarceration; fine of $500 to $5,000
- Second Offense: mandatory minimum of 30 days incarceration; fine of $750 to $5,000
- Third Offense: mandatory minimum of 90 days incarceration; fine of $1,500 to $10,000
Tier Level 3 (BAC greater than .16)
- First Offense: mandatory minimum of 72 hours incarceration; fine of $1,000 to $5,000
- Second Offense: mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days incarceration; fine of $1,500 to $10,000
- Third Offense: mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year incarceration; fine of $2,500 to $10,000
Were You Charged With BUI? The Time to Call is Now
Many first time offenders or people that have limited criminal histories may be eligible to have their cases resolved via diversionary program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). The program substantially reduces the penalties that are imposed and allow a person to have the charges dismissed and expunged. Time is of the essence in any alcohol-related case, regardless of the level of the charge. If you have been charged with BUI, we encourage you to meet with an attorney in a free initial consultation. Call (814) 954-7622 or complete our online form.