Mississippi not only makes it illegal to drive a car while intoxicated but also to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This article explains Mississippi's boating under the influence (BUI) laws and the penalties you'll face for a BUI conviction.
Mississippi law prohibits operating 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:
In other words, a BUI conviction can be based on BAC or actual impairment.
The BUI laws of many states apply to all boats and vessels, regardless of whether they're motorized. But Mississippi's BUI law applies only to "a motorized vessel with a motor of twenty-five (25) horsepower or greater used for transportation on public waters and personal watercraft (jet skis)."
The consequences of a Mississippi BUI depend on the circumstances of the case. But generally, a BUI is a misdemeanor, and the possible penalties are:
For purposes of determining whether a BUI is a second or third offense, only prior BUIs committed within the past five years count.
Generally, BUI offenders who cause accidents where someone is killed, or some part of another person is mutilated, disfigured, or permanently disabled can be convicted of a felony and face up to ten years in prison.
If you've been arrested for or charged with boating under the influence in Mississippi, get in contact with an experienced DUI/BUI attorney. The facts of every case are different. A good DUI attorney should be able to explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on your best course of action.