Find out what your case is worth One click that’s it
November 23, 2020

Were You Involved in a BUI Accident in Georgia?

You’re out on the lake for another beautiful day in Georgia, when many boat owner’s worst nightmares came true. You get into a devastating boating accident only to find out later that the other boat driver was under the influence. Driving under the influence is widely known to all to be illegal, does this apply to boats too?

When an individual is in a boat crash due to operating the boat under the influence, they may be charged with boating under the influence (BUI).

If you found yourself the victim of a boating accident involving alcohol or a driver under the influence, learning more information about the consequences of a BUI may be of value to you. Is it possible to recover damages? How about punitive damages? Keep reading to learn more about Georgia’s BUI laws.


BUI means boating under the influence. In Georgia, you are not allowed to operate any moving vessel, that is not anchored, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, Georgia takes this law a step further by preventing anyone from “manipulating any moving water skis, moving aquaplane, moving surfboard, or similar moving device” while under the influence.

BUI laws are comparable to DUI laws, with the “legal limit” for operating being a BAC under 0.08%.


The exact penalties for a BUI in Georgia depend on a few different factors which include whether or not the boat driver:

  • Has ever had a BUI conviction within the past 10 years
  • Had someone under the age of 14 in the boat or was towing someone on skis, wakeboard, etc.

Charges for BUI’s can range greatly depending on each case, but typically, the courts will follow something like this:

  • A second-degree misdemeanor for a BAC of 0.15% or higher which is punishable by up to 9 months in jail and a fine up to $2,000
  • A first-degree misdemeanor for boating accidents involving minor injuries and or property damage which is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a fine up to $5,000
  • A felony for accidents which result in the death of an individual which is punishable by up to 15 – 30 years in prison and fines up to $10,000


If you found yourself involved in a boating accident involving alcohol, you may be wondering what may happen next. The defendant may face serious charges, especially if the accident resulted in death or injuries. Not only may the defendant face criminal charges, but they may also have to cover your damages.

The experienced Georgia boating accident attorneys at Monge & Associates have years of experience dealing with these types of cases. They know what to look for to help ensure our clients get the most favorable compensation possible. Don’t let the negligence of another person change your life forever.

Contact us today at to schedule your free case evaluation!