BUI charges in Georgia carry much of the same stigma and punishments requirements and DUI charges. Not only will a BUI keep you from boating for awhile, but it could also require you to sit through alcohol courses, perform community service, pay stiff fines and fees, serve probation, and sometimes even jail time. It's no surprise that we have more clients than ever fighting their BUI charges, and we have the resources to defend these charges.
BUI in Georgia is a misdemeanor crime, meaning technically, it can be punished by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Like most misdemeanors, BUIs can carry probation time instead of actual jail time, if negotiated by your attorney.
A BUI arrest looks a lot like a DUI arrest, and the laws are similar. However, the biggest difference in BUI charges is that, unlike DUI, cops can pull your boat over without any probable cause or suspicion that you have done anything wrong. Often, DNR and other cops on the lake will point out another violation that lead them to pull you over, but technically, they do not need one.
A safety inspection, where DNR ask for your life vests, fire extinguisher and other items is often used as part of a DUI investigation. Yep, thats right... Something as simple as getting out these items in a safety inspection is often scrutinized in a BUI case. How you move about your boat, what you say, even how your passengers are acting can all be used against you in a BUI case.
Top Challenges to a BUI Case
There are two main areas that must be challenged in a BUI case. First, to challenge the less safe BUI charge- which you received if you refused to take a breath or blood test- you must have an attorney who knows what to point out that the officer misjudged in assessing your sobriety. For instance, the cop's scoring of any field sobriety tests must be carefully reviewed, and any unfairness or inaccurate scoring must be pointed out.
In defending BUI cases, our firm knows exactly what to focus on: your interaction with the officer; the reason you were stopped in the first place; how field sobriety tests were done; and many other factors.
If you took a breath or blood test, and were over the legal limit, then you will also face a BUI per se charge. This means you tested over the limit; currently a .08 for adults.
Fighting a BUI per se charge means attacking the validity of the test result and fighting to have the test thrown out of your case. Often, BUI charges are made on the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath test machine, which has been in use in Georgia for over 20 years. There is a lot to scrutinize about your test results and the performance of this machine in any BUI.
Why We Are Your BUI Defense Team
Both of our attorneys, Mr. Watson and Mr. Zeliff, have dozens of BUI cases under their belt and know exactly what it takes to achieve your best outcome. From defending your privilege to operate a boat, to negotiating a plea on the BUI charges, our team has you covered. Both of our lawyers attend annual training on laws that apply to BUI (and DUI) cases in Georgia. We focus on these cases and challenge BUI arrests in court almost weekly.
If you have been arrested for BUI in North Georgia, give us a call today to discuss your best defense. We will answer your call on the weekend and will always meet with you, in person, within 24 hours to discuss your best defense.