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Boating Under the Influence or DUI Boating in Las Vegas


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In Nevada, the crime of driving under the influence does not only cover motor vehicles like cars or motorcycles, it also covers other vehicles like boats and aircraft as well. We’ll discuss the particulars of DUI Boating in Las Vegas in this article.

Why can I be charged with DUI Boating or BUI?

You may wonder why Las Vegas DUI Boating or BUI (Boating under the influence) is a crime because you may think that water and boats are a lot less dangerous compared to driving on the road. This is false however, as water and boats are hazardous in their own ways:

  • Boats are usually heavier, bigger, and can carry more people than cars (i.e. yachts), which increases the danger when boating while drunk as they can crash into other boats, cliffs, and other obstacles. To carry that many people in a land vehicle, you might need a commercial license as well as a large vehicle such as a bus.
  • The presence of water means there’s always the possibility of drowning for anyone in the boat, particularly if they are inebriated enough to be completely helpless if they fall into the water.

Which watercraft is prohibited under BUI?

According to NRS 488, it is unlawful to “operate or be in actual physical control of a vessel under power or sail on the waters of this State”, which means that taking control of any watercraft powered by motors is liable for Las Vegas boating DUI charge. This also includes other vehicles like water skis and even surfboards.

What are the penalties of BUI?

Boating under the influence carries the same charges and penalties as DUI, although most of these cases will be charged as misdemeanors. However, if the incident resulted in serious injury or death, your BUI may be classified as a felony.

Misdemeanor BUI

  • Imprisoned in jail for up to six months
  • Fines not exceeding $1,000

Category B Felony BUI (Already convicted with BUI causing death or injury)

  • Held in Nevada state prison for two to fifteen years
  • Fines from $2000 to $5,000

Category B Felony BUI (BUI causing death or injury)

  • Incarcerated in Nevada state prison for two to twenty years
  • Fines from $2000 to $5,000

Category A Felony BUI (homicide by vessel)

  • Up to twenty five years or life in prison.
  • Parole possible after 10 years.
  • Probation or suspended sentence not allowed.

Can I lose my driver’s license because of BUI?

Nevada Boating License is not required on the state, thus receiving a BUI charge will not cause you to lose your driver’s license.

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