Oregon’s Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Laws and Penalties

Read about the consequences of boating under the influence (BUI) in Oregon.

Oregon law prohibits operating, propelling, or being in actual physical control of any boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person can be convicted of boating under the influence (BUI) for operating a watercraft while:

  • impaired by a controlled substance, alcohol, or a combination of the two to a degree that “the person's physical or mental facilities are adversely affected to a noticeable or perceptible degree,” or
  • having a blood concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater.

(Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 830.325, 830.510(2) (2016); State v. Stroup, 147 Or. App. 118 (1997).)

BUI Penalties                                                                      

An Oregon BUI is a class A misdemeanor. BUI offenders face up to one year in jail, a maximum of $6,250 in fines, and a one-year suspension of boating privileges. And all boaters convicted of a BUI must complete a state-approved boating safety course.

(Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 161.615(1), 161.635(1)(a), 830.990(7), 830.994(1) (2016).)


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.

Talk to an Attorney

If you’ve been arrested for or charged with boating under the influence in Oregon, get in contact with an experienced BUI attorney. The facts of every case are different. A good BUI attorney should be able to explain how Oregon BUI law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on the best course of action.

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