North Dakota has laws that make it illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This article explains the state's boating under the influence (BUI) laws and the penalties for a BUI conviction.
North Dakota law prohibits operating a motorboat, vessel, or similar device while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
A person can be convicted of boating under the influence for operating a watercraft while:
In other words, you can get a BUI for operating a vessel with an excessive amount of alcohol in your system or if you're actually impaired by drugs or alcohol.
The term "vessel" means "any watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water"—so not just boats with motors or engines.
The consequences of a North Dakota BUI depend on the circumstances of the case.
In North Dakota, a BUI is a class B misdemeanor, which carries up to 30 days in jail and/or a maximum of $1,500 in fines.
If a chemical test (typically, breath or blood) shows a boater had a BAC of .1% or more or prohibited blood concentration of drugs, the North Dakota Department of Fish and Game will suspend the boater's operating privileges.
The suspension is 91 days for a first offense. If the boater has a prior BUI conviction within the past five years, there's a 364-day suspension. And if the boater has been twice convicted of boating under the influence in the past five years, the third BUI carries a two-year suspension.
If you've been arrested for or charged with boating under the influence in North Dakota, get in contact with an experienced DUI/BUI attorney. The facts of every case are different. A good 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.