If you live in a state where road vehicles are not the only mode of transportation, you probably have some type of BUI (boating under the influence) laws. Those are the laws that say you cannot drink and operate a boat or you’ll face similar penalties to the drunk driving laws in your state or jurisdiction. Bear in mind that BUI laws can actually be a little stricter than DUI, especially where blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is concerned.
However, a BUI and/or a DUI may have little to no impact on your boat, jet ski or other watercraft, at least where an interlock is concerned – the device is only placed on cars or trucks. In many cases, if you have a drunk driving conviction with an ignition interlock requirement, your vehicles that cannot be interlock equipped may have to sit out the fun while you commit to sober driving solely in your regular vehicle.
Ironically, a BUI can lead to the installation of an interlock on your car, truck or SUV, under the assumption that if you were intoxicated while boating, you could attempt the same behavior in your everyday vehicle.
It may be a little harsh, and a buzz kill for your summer plans, but losing the chance to drive your boat may be even more incentive to find a safe ride home if you’ve been drinking. Nobody wants to lose out on their recreational vehicles because of a bad decision one night after drinking with friends. So your best choice to keep on truckin’, er, boating, is to always have a plan in place before you go out on the town (or the water). You get to keep your license, your boat and your freedom to keep the good times rolling, no matter which vehicle you drive.