It's called a BUI and it's as real as a DUI and you can even be charged for canoeing while drunk too! I guess, technically you can be busted for being under the influence on a bicycle as well. Here's how North Dakota breaks it down.

North Dakota law prohibits operating a motorboat, vessel, or similar device while under the influence of 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.

I'm going to say going on a river tube crawl just might qualify you!  Not sure if you operate a tube or just float on it.  But, we can say if you're pulling a raft behind a boat while you're drunk- you qualify!

Boats and beer can get you busted

Boaters are a separate slice of society.  There are recreational boaters puttin' around in their pontoons.  There are fishin' boaters with fish finders and treble hooks. Then there are speed boaters and jet skiers on the water for the rush.

Doesn't matter what type of operator you are- being sober on the water is just as important as being sober on the road.  Law enforcement is going to be as thick as a school of baby bullheads this 4th of July weekend.

July 2-4 law enforcement will be on the lookout.

It's called Operation Dry Water and they just want to make it safe on the water for everyone.  Including that friend on a tube, you forgot you were pulling.

Many folks -and maybe it's you, consider boozin' a part of boating. I'm not going to lecture you- I'd just suggest you sip your suds from a passenger seat.

BUI Penalties

  • Jail and fines. 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.
  • Operator's privilege suspension. 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.

Happy 4th of July y'all!


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