Connecticut law prohibits operating a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The term “vessel” includes “every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.” (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 15-127 (2016).) A person can be convicted of boating under the influence (BUI) for operating a vessel while:
(Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 15-133(d) (2016); State v. Pulaski, 71 Conn. App. 497 (2002).)
The consequences of a Connecticut BUI conviction depend on the circumstances of the case. But generally, the possible penalties are:
For purposes of determining whether a BUI is a second or third offense, only prior convictions within the past ten years count. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 15-133(h) (2016).)
Connecticut law provides enhanced penalties for certain BUIs involving “reckless operation.” The consequences of a reckless-operation BUI conviction are:
(Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § § 15-140l, 15-140n (2016).)
HOW MUCH TIME WOULD YOU ACTUALLY SPEND IN JAIL?
Sentencing law is complex. For example, a statute might list a “minimum” jail sentence that’s longer than the actual amount of time (if any) a defendant will have to spend behind bars. All kinds of factors can affect actual punishment, including credits for good in-custody behavior and jail-alternative work programs.
If you face criminal charges, consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer. An attorney with command of the rules in your jurisdiction will be able to explain the law as it applies to your situation.
The consequences of a Connecticut BUI are serious, and the facts of every case are different. If you’ve been arrested for boating under the influence, get in touch with an experienced BUI lawyer. A qualified attorney can explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on the best course of action.