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Breckenridge BUI Defense Attorneys

BUI Lawyers in Breckenridge Vigorously Defend Boating Under the Influence Cases

Boating is a lot of fun, and it's a wonderful way to get outside and enjoy the beautiful lakes near Breckenridge, Colorado, including Lake Dillon, Frisco Bay Marina, and Grand Lake Marina. But there are serious penalties for boating under the influence (BUI) in Colorado.

If you've been charged with BUI in Summit County, contact Whitaker & Penix, LLC, right away. Attorney Kylie Whitaker has been recognized by Super Lawyers for significant professional achievement and outstanding peer reviews, and our legal defense firm has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Our Summit County criminal lawyers will spring to your defense and pursue every legal avenue to have the charges against you dropped or reduced. Call (970) 368-0602 to schedule a FREE consultation today.

What is Considered Boating Under the Influence in Colorado?

Boating Under the Influence, or BUI, is defined as operating a watercraft while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Similar to driving under the influence (DUI) laws on the road, BUI laws in Colorado apply to waterways, and they are taken just as seriously.

A boater in Colorado is considered under the influence if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. But even lower levels of alcohol can lead to a BUI charge if it's determined that the operator's ability to safely navigate the watercraft is compromised. The definition of watercraft includes motorboats, sailboats, and other manually propelled water vessels.

BUI laws are enforced in Colorado by various agencies, especially Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). These officers have the authority to patrol waterways and conduct stops if they suspect a boater is under the influence. Local law enforcement and the Coast Guard may also be involved in BUI enforcement, especially during busy seasons or on larger bodies of water.

BUI enforcement efforts often include sobriety checkpoints and random patrols. Being stopped for a suspected BUI can lead to BAC testing, which is used to determine impairment. You are not required to take a field sobriety or breathalyzer test in Colorado before you have been arrested. However, someone who has been arrested for BUI is legally required to submit to BAC testing.

Breckenridge Penalties for BUI

In Colorado, the classification of BUI as a misdemeanor or felony hinges on the specifics of the incident and the boater's prior offenses. Typically, a first-time BUI offense is classified as a misdemeanor. But if the incident involved injury to another person, extensive property damage, or if the boater has previous BUI or DUI convictions, the charges could escalate to a felony. The presence of minors on the boat at the time of the alleged offense can also result in more severe charges.

The legal consequences for a BUI in Colorado can be severe and long-lasting. For misdemeanors, penalties may include fines, boating safety classes, community service, and even jail time. The court may also impose a probation period and suspend boating privileges. In cases where the BUI is classified as a felony, the stakes are higher, with the possibility of significant fines, longer jail sentences, and a more extended suspension of boating licenses. Repeat BUI offenders face increasingly harsh penalties, as do those involved in incidents causing injury or death.

How Your Breckenridge BUI Attorney Can Help

If you are arrested for BUI in Colorado, you'll want to remain calm and cooperate with law enforcement. Remember that you have the right to remain silent, and it's generally in your best interest to do so until you can speak with a lawyer. Avoid making any statements or admissions that could be used against you in court.

Timely action is important, and it's invaluable to have a knowledgeable BUI lawyer to represent you. As soon as possible, contact Whitaker & Penix, LLC. Early intervention by your Breckenridge DUI defense attorney can be critical in navigating the legal process and forming an effective defense. Our attorneys will build a strong legal defense using effective strategies that may include:

  • Law enforcement officers did not use the proper protocols when collecting evidence.
  • Your behavior was due to a medical condition that was mistaken for impairment.
  • Law enforcement agents lacked probable cause to question you.
  • Witnesses against you gave unreliable testimony.
  • The breath testing instrument wasn't properly calibrated.
  • Factors such as diet, GERD, or a medical condition caused a false BAC breathalyzer result.
  • The arresting officer failed to read you your rights.

What to Do When Facing Breckenridge BUI Charges

Everybody is entitled to a strong legal defense. Whitaker & Penix, LLC, has extensive experience with BUI cases, and we also have unique insight into the tendencies of local prosecutors and judges. Our Breckenridge BUI lawyers are the right people to have by your side when your freedom is on the line. Call (970) 368-0602 to learn more today.