Atlanta Boating Under the Influence Lawyer

When you take your boat out to the lake on a Saturday afternoon, you expect to have an enjoyable time with your family and friends. You do not expect to get pulled over and charged with a boating DUI (otherwise known as a BUI).

If you have recently found yourself in this nightmare scenario, don’t worry. The skilled criminal defense attorneys here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC, in Atlanta can help you fight back against your charge.

How the Yeargan & Kert, LLC Legal Team Can Help You with Your BUI Case

The lawyers here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC, are dedicated to fighting vigorously on behalf of our valued clients. When you hire us to help you fight back against your BUI charge, we will:

Protect Your Constitutional Rights

When investigating, arresting, and prosecuting you for boating under the influence, the state of Georgia and its representatives must respect your constitutional rights. Unfortunately, in an effort to improve their chances of landing a conviction, some prosecutors and law enforcement officers have been known to stray over the line.

When you have our legal team on your side, we will watch over every stage of your case to make sure that your rights are not being violated in any way. If we spot a violation in progress, we will put a stop to it immediately and raise the matter with the judge if necessary.

Devise an Effective Defense Strategy

Being charged with boating under the influence does not have to mean that you will be convicted of the same offense. With the help of an effective defense strategy, it may be possible to get your charge reduced or dismissed entirely.

Having worked in the legal industry for years, the lawyers here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC in Atlanta are experts at devising defense strategies. When you hire us, we will review the details of your case and let you know which tactics are likely to be successful for you.

Negotiate with the Prosecuting Attorney

Most BUI cases do not go to trial. Instead, they are resolved out of court through a plea bargain agreement. If your case is to be resolved in such a manner, you will need to have an experienced attorney negotiate the terms of the deal on your behalf.

Our attorneys have been negotiating with Georgia prosecutors for years. During that time, we have learned the best tactics to use to convince them to improve the terms of their plea bargain agreements. If the prosecutor in your case is willing to make such a deal, we will work tirelessly to try to make it happen for you.

The lawyers here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC, have been helping the people of Atlanta fight back against their DUI and BUI charges for years. We would love to add your name to our long list of satisfied clients. To get started, just give us a call or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Understanding Georgia’s BUI Laws

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, approximately half of all boating fatalities involve alcohol. Even small amounts of alcohol can significantly impair a boater’s reaction times.

In an effort to reduce the number of deaths on the water, the state of Georgia has some rather strict rules against boating while intoxicated. These rules are outlined in section 52-7-12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA).

This law states that it is illegal for a person to operate, steer, navigate, manipulate, or be in actual physical control of a moving vessel, water skis, aquaplane, or surfboard while:

Law enforcement officers do not need any reason or justification to stop a vessel on a public waterway in Georgia. Boat safety checks are permitted without any probable cause or reasonable suspicion in the Peach State.

If an officer observes any signs of impairment or intoxication during a safety test, they may then detain the boat driver to investigate the matter more closely. Such an investigation may involve:

Boaters may initially refuse to submit to chemical testing. However, if they choose to do so, they will automatically lose their boating privileges for at least one year. The state may then obtain a subpoena and force the boater to provide a chemical sample without their consent.

Individuals who fail one of the aforementioned chemical tests will be taken into custody and charged with boating under the influence (BUI).

Other Offenses That May Be Committed while Boating Under the Influence

Individuals who operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol may also commit other criminal offenses in the process. A brief list of some of the laws most frequently broken by drunk boaters in the state of Georgia would include:

Serious Injury By Vessel

Section 52-7-12.4 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) states that any individual who causes bodily harm to another person through an offense such as boating while intoxicated may be charged with this offense. Boaters may also be charged with this crime if they cause a serious injury while:

In the state of Georgia, serious injury by vessel is a felony offense. It is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Individuals who are convicted of this offense may also lose their boating privileges for up to 3 years.

Homicide By Vessel

Section 52-7-12.2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) states that any individual who kills another person through an offense such as boating under the influence may be arrested and charged with this crime. Law enforcement officers may also arrest boaters who kill another person while:

Homicide by vessel is classified as a first-degree felony in Georgia. Boaters who are convicted of this offense may be sentenced to up to 15 years in state prison.

Have you been charged with boating under the influence or any of its associated offenses in the state of Georgia? If so, please do not hesitate to contact the legal team here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC. We may be able to help you get your charge dropped or reduced.

Penalties for BUI Convictions in the State of Georgia

In the state of Georgia, the criminal penalties for boating under the influence depend on the number of times that the offender has previously been convicted of the same offense:

First BUI

Individuals who boat while intoxicated may face the following criminal penalties if this is their first DUI:

Second BUI

Offenders who are found guilty of boating under the influence for a second time in 10 years may face the following penalties:

Third BUI

A third BUI within 10 years may result in the following criminal punishments:

Fourth BUI

Individuals who are convicted of four BUIs in 10 years may face the following penalties:

Atlanta’s Premier Boating DUI Law Firm

If you have been charged with BUI or DUI in Atlanta, there is only one law firm you need to turn to for legal advice and guidance – Yeargan & Kert, LLC. Our attorneys have the experience and expertise to handle just about any case, no matter how complex. To set up a free consultation with our legal team, just give us a call or contact us online today.