The simple answer to this question is yes. Boating under the influence (BUI) of alcohol or drugs is a crime in South Carolina. A rise in fatal boating accidents in recent years led to changes in both federal and state laws to make it illegal to be impaired while driving a boat.
In past blog posts, we've discussed how South Carolina statutes address boating under the influence. Essentially, the many of the same standards applied by law enforcement for land-based drivers also apply to boat operators.
South Carolina's statutes for driving under the influence of alcohol and boating under the influence are fairly similar, at least in terms of the law. For each statute, motor vehicle or boat operators are subject to the same legal limit for intoxication, which is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent.
Summertime heat is on the way, and South Carolina residents might be making plans for the coming months. For those who own a boat or intend to operate one in the coming months, it may be essential to understand how boating under the influence laws are similar or different from land-based violations.
Due to this year's unseasonably cold and snowy winter, going for a boat ride might only be a distant thought in the minds of South Carolina residents. Hopefully, however, warmer weather will soon be here and boating enthusiasts can hit the water.
As the weather begins to heat up here in South Carolina, many agencies are beginning to campaign for boater safety. So far, five people have died in boating-related accidents this year in the state. The most important thing recreational boaters can do to survive a boating accident is of course to wear a life jacket.