Although it may not feel like it just yet warm weather is around the corner and that means people will be taking to the waterways soon. Often overlooked is that Boating Under the Influence is a crime in Massachusetts. In Fact Massachusetts has one of the toughest criminal statutes for BUI in the country. M.G.L Chapter 90B Section 8 provides that “No person shall operate any vessel on the waters of the commonwealth with a percentage, by weight, of alcohol in their blood of eight one-hundredths or greater, or while such person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressant or stimulant substances." Additionally, the criminal penalty for Boating Under the Influence is a fine up to $1000 and/or imprisonment up to two and a half years.
However, the criminal consequences don’t stop there like Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence, Boating under the influence severity of punishments increase if the accused has been previously convicted within the previous six years or ten years for 4th and 5th offenses.
Below is a chart outlining the penalties for subsequent BUI offenses. With these types of consequences involved it is important that you engage an experienced criminal defense attorney.
BUI/BOATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE PENALTIES IN MASSACHUSETTS
2nd OFFENSE BUI IF WITHIN 6 Years
3rd OFFENSE BUI IF WITHIN 6 Years
Incarceration in the House of Corrections: Not less than 180 days, not more than 2 ½ years
4th OFFENSE BUI IF WITHIN 10 Years
Incarceration in the House of Corrections: Not less than 2 years (1 year Minimum Mandatory), not more than 10 years state prison
5th OFFENSE BUI IF WITHIN 10 Years
Incarceration in the House of Corrections: Not less than 2 ½ years (24 mos. Minimum Mandatory), not more than 10 years