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California boating laws you might not know about

Being on the lakes is a great way to spend a summer afternoon. Many people in California enjoy spending time on the lakes, boating or water-skiing.

However, there are still rules and regulations you should follow when out on the lake this summer. Lakes still have their own laws, just like roads.

One of the laws you must obey concerns alcohol use. You can be arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) while on the lake, which is similar to drunk driving on the road, and also includes other types of water activities.

Getting a BUI

Like when driving on the roads, you can get a BUI if your blood alcohol concentration is .08 or higher. A police officer can also issue a BUI if your blood alcohol concentration is equal to or higher than .05 and they have evidence that you were endangering other people while intoxicated and operating your water vessel.

You can get a BUI while driving a boat or jet ski as well as while on water-skis and wakeboards.

Consequences of a BUI

Some of the penalties for a BUI are a $1,000 fine and jail time. You can be imprisoned for up to six months from a BUI conviction. You could also be subject to court-ordered substance abuse treatment or education courses.

The consequences increase with each conviction within seven years.

If you are arrested for a BUI while operating a boat or other watercraft that has a motor, such as a jet ski, you will also be required to take a boater safety course. This class must be completed within six months of your conviction.

The penalties of illegal boating can be severe. Have fun on the lakes this summer but be sure to follow all California laws regarding boating and water activities.

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