As the COVID-19 crisis continues into summer, Tennesseans are flocking to Tennessee’s rivers and lakes. The increase in boaters has brought more boating accidents and deaths and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has ramped up enforcement of boating under the influence cases (BUI).
What Is the Punishment If You Are Convicted of BUI?
The punishment for first offense BUI conviction in Tennessee is as follows:
- A first offense is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days in jail.
- There is a fine not less than $250.00 up to $2500.
- It is up to the discretion of the court to suspend your boating privileges for up to one year.
What Are the Differences Between the Penalties of a DUI Conviction Verses a BUI Conviction?
A Tennessee BUI conviction does not carry these DUI punishments:
- There is no mandatory minimum 48 hours in jail.
- There is no mandatory alcohol safety class.
- It is possible to have your criminal conviction expunged.
A BUI case is eligible for judicial diversion. A judicial diversion plea is a special type of probation that allows you to have your conviction expunged if you qualify. Most of the BUI cases in Middle Tennessee occur on Old Hickory Lake or Percy Priest Lake, so you will go to court in Davidson County, Wilson County, and Sumner County. May McKinney represents boaters in Nashville and across Tennessee and we know how to deal with BUI charges.
If you have any questions about defenses to your Tennessee BUI charge please feel free to call us at (615) 265-6383 or contact us online. Be safe on the water.