Boating under the Influence (BUI)
Boating under the influence (BUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal in the state of Kansas, which make it a crime to operate a boat or personal watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. And just like DUI or DWI offenses committed on dry land, the legal consequences of BUI can include steep fines, boating license penalties and prison time for injuries or deaths caused by BUI accidents.
Kansas law (K.S.A. 32-1131) makes it illegal to operate or attempt to operate any vessel when having a blood alcohol level over .08 for those twenty-one years of age or older. The law also makes it illegal to operate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that one is incapable of safely operating the vessel. Any person under the age of twenty-one can be charged if the operator has a blood alcohol level of .02 or greater.
On the first conviction, a person may be punished by imprisonment of not more than one year or a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, or both; and, on the second or a subsequent conviction, the person may be punished by imprisonment for not less than 90 days nor more than one year and, in the court’s discretion, a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500. In addition to any other penalties prescribed by law or rule and regulation, any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be required to satisfactorily complete a boater safety education course of instruction approved by the secretary before such person subsequently operates or attempts to operate any vessel.
If you are out on the waterways this boating season, make sure you are aware of how much you have consumed particularly if you are operating the watercraft at any point in time. And, always make sure you adhere to the other boating laws such as life vests, displaying flags properly, etc. Stay safe this boating season.