Maine law prohibits operating or attempting to operate a watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person can be convicted of boating under the influence (BUI) for operating a watercraft while:
(Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 12, § 10701(1-A)(B) (2016).)
The consequences of a Maine BUI conviction depend on the circumstances of the case. But generally, a BUI is a class D misdemeanor and the possible penalties are:
For purposes of determining whether a BUI is a second or subsequent offense, only prior convictions within the past six years count. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 12, § 10701(3) (2016); Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 17-A, § § 1252, 1301 (2016).)
In addition to the other penalties, a judge can order any BUI offender to participate in substance abuse education and treatment. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 12, § 10701(3)(D) (2016).
Boating under the influence in the tidewaters or offshore waters of Maine is a class E misdemeanor. Convicted boaters face up to $1,000 in fines and a maximum six months in jail. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 17-A, § § 1252, 1301 (2016); Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 38, § 284 (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 Maine 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.