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Knoxville, TN 37929

Knoxville Boating Under the Influence Lawyers

Knox County, Tennessee boating under the influence attorney

Representing Clients Facing BUI Charges in Knoxville, Tennessee

Enjoying a day out on the water is a popular pastime in Tennessee, but it is important to remember that boating under the influence (BUI) is illegal. The laws regarding the use of alcohol and drugs when driving a car also apply when operating a boat, and BUI cases are handled in a similar manner as those involving driving under the influence (DUI). If you are arrested for BUI in Tennessee, you may face serious consequences. It is crucial to understand when you may be charged with BUI, the penalties you may face, and your options for defense.

At Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, we provide legal help and representation to people who have been charged with DUI or BUI. We are experienced in defending clients against accusations that they have put other people's safety at risk due to the use of drugs or alcohol when on the water. We can help you understand your rights in these situations, develop a strong defense strategy, and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

When Can You Be Charged With BUI?

In Tennessee, you can be charged with boating under the influence if you were found to be operating a commercial vessel or another type of boat that was subject to registration, and one of the following was true:

  • Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was 0.08 percent or higher.
  • You were under the influence of any substance that limited your ability to operate a boat safely, including marijuana, narcotics, or other drugs or combinations of substances that affected your ability to maintain a clear mind and control yourself.

It is essential to note that the use of certain types of prescription medications can lead to impairment if they affect your ability to operate a vessel safely. The combination of different substances, such as alcohol and prescription drugs, can also lead to intoxication. If an officer believed that your use of substances impaired your ability to operate a boat safely, you could be charged with BUI.

Potential Penalties for BUI in Tennessee

If you are convicted of boating under the influence in Tennessee, you could face a number of consequences, including:

  • Fines of up to $2,500 for a first or second offense or $5,000 for a third offense.
  • Minimum jail time of 48 hours for a first offense, 45 days for a second offense, and 120 days for a third offense, with a maximum sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case.
  • Suspension of your boat operation privileges for one year.
  • Probation for up to one year, which may include participation in an alcohol and drug treatment program and/or the completion of a court-approved boating and alcohol safety course.
  • Community service removing litter from public areas.

Possible Defense Strategies for BUI Charges

If you have been charged with BUI in Tennessee, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney who has a strong knowledge of this area of the law. At Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, we will thoroughly evaluate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and help you build a strong defense strategy. Here are some possible defense options:

  • Lack of probable cause: An officer must have had reasonable suspicion that you were intoxicated before stopping your boat or initiating a BUI investigation. If it can be demonstrated that there was no valid reason for a stop or search leading to your arrest, evidence obtained during that process may be suppressed.
  • Field sobriety tests and portable breathalyzer tests: The accuracy of tests performed by an officer to determine if you were intoxicated can be called into question. Factors such as weather conditions, physical disabilities, or incorrect administration of tests could affect the results. Your attorney may be able to challenge these tests and question whether you should have been arrested.
  • Procedural errors: Law enforcement officers must follow specific procedures during a BUI investigation and arrest. Any deviation from those protocols could potentially violate your rights, and this could make certain evidence inadmissible in court.

Your attorney will analyze the facts surrounding your case to determine which defenses may apply. We will work with you to develop the most effective strategy for achieving a favorable outcome.

Contact Our Experienced Knoxville BUI Defense Attorney

If you are facing boating under the influence charges in Tennessee, it is important to seek legal representation from an attorney who understands how to navigate the complex laws that apply in these situations. At Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, we have extensive experience representing clients charged with BUI, DUI, and other criminal offenses. We will fight to protect your rights throughout every stage of your case. Contact our firm today at 865-281-1000 to schedule a free consultation and get the representation you need.

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