Maryland law prohibits operating or attempting to operate a vessel while under the influence of or impaired by drugs or alcohol. The term “vessel” means “every description of watercraft, including an ice boat but not including a seaplane, that is used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water or ice.” (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 8-701(s)(1) (2016).)
Maryland has two general classifications of boating under the influence:
(Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 8-738(a) (2016).)
The penalties for a Maryland BUI depend on a number of factors, including:
In general, the penalties for a BUI are more severe than those for a BWI conviction. But the consequences for both types of convictions often include fines and jail time. For instance, a first-offense BUI is a misdemeanor and carries up to one year in jail and/or $1,000 in fines. A first BWI, on the other hand, is also a misdemeanor, but convicted boaters face only a maximum two months in jail and $500 in fines. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 8-738 (2016).)
Our “Maryland BUI/BWI Penalties” article has a more complete discussion of BUI and BWI penalties, including those for repeated offenses and BUI accidents involving injuries or death.
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.
Maryland BUI law is complicated 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 your best course of action.