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At the Law Offices of Richard A. Meyer, we understand that being charged with a Boating Under the Influence (BUI) offense in California can be a distressing and overwhelming experience. Our experienced legal team is here to provide you with the expert guidance and representation you need to navigate the complexities of BUI laws. With a strong track record of success and a commitment to client satisfaction, we are dedicated to protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your case.

Call the Law Offices of Richard A. Meyer today at (833) 999-3179 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our BUI attorney in Modesto!


Boating Under the Influence (BUI) refers to operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. In California, BUI laws are taken seriously to ensure the safety of individuals on the waterways. The laws governing BUI are similar to those for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) on land, and a BUI conviction's consequences can significantly impact your life.

It's important to note that BUI applies not only to motorboats but also to other vessels such as sailboats, jet skis, and even kayaks or canoes. If you operate any watercraft and are impaired by alcohol or drugs, you can be charged with BUI.


A conviction for BUI in California can have severe consequences that may impact your personal and professional life. The penalties for a BUI offense can include the following:

  • Criminal Penalties: A first-time BUI conviction can lead to fines ranging from $390 to $1,000, imprisonment for up to six months, or both. Subsequent convictions can result in higher fines, longer jail sentences, and mandatory alcohol education programs.
  • Boating Privilege Suspension: If you are convicted of BUI, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may suspend your boating privileges. The length of the suspension can vary depending on the circumstances of your case.
  • Probation: BUI convictions often come with a probation period, during which you must comply with specific conditions imposed by the court. These conditions may include attending alcohol education programs, submitting to alcohol or drug testing, and refraining from further legal violations.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): In some cases, the court may require you to install an IID on any vehicle you operate. This device measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) and prevents the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected.
  • Increased Insurance Premiums: A BUI conviction can lead to significantly higher insurance premiums, making maintaining coverage more challenging and expensive.
  • Professional Consequences: For individuals whose professions require a valid boating license or clear driving records, a BUI conviction can lead to job loss, difficulty finding employment, or professional licensing issues.

How To Defend Against BUI Charges

When facing BUI charges, having a skilled Modesto BUI lawyer who can explore possible defenses to protect your rights and build a strong case. Our legal team has extensive experience handling BUI cases and can develop strategies tailored to your situation. Some common defenses against BUI charges include the following:

  • Challenging the Stop or Arrest: If law enforcement did not have probable cause to stop your watercraft or lacked sufficient evidence for your arrest, we can challenge the legality of the stop or arrest.
  • Questioning the Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests conducted on the water may not always be accurate or reliable. We can scrutinize the procedures followed during the tests to challenge their validity.
  • Contesting BAC Results: We can examine the methods used to test your blood alcohol content and determine if any errors or inaccuracies occurred during the testing process.
  • Arguing Involuntary Intoxication: If you consumed alcohol or drugs unknowingly or involuntarily, we could argue that you lacked the necessary intent to operate a watercraft while impaired.
  • Investigating Illegal Search and Seizure: If evidence was obtained through an illegal search and seizure, we could move to suppress that evidence, which may weaken the prosecution's case.

What Makes Us Different?

Why Clients Choose Us
  • Offering 100% Free Consults
    Get started on your defense with a free consultation today.
  • Over 20 Years of Experience
    Attorney Meyer brings a wealth of knowledge and skill backed by two decades of criminal defense experience.
  • Aggressive & Compassionate Representation

    We fight tirelessly and aggressively for the rights you may not know you have.

  • Meet with Us Virtually
    With virtual consultations, it's easier than ever to get started.

Contact Our Modesto BUI Attorney Today

When facing BUI charges in Modesto, California, the Law Offices of Richard A. Meyer is here to protect your rights and fight for your best interests. Our experienced team of BUI lawyers understands the intricacies of BUI laws and the potential consequences of a conviction. We will diligently investigate your case, craft a solid defense strategy, and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome.

Contact the Law Offices of Richard A. Meyer today to schedule a FREE consultation with our BUI lawyer in Modesto!

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