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Boating While Under the Influence

It is illegal to operate a motorboat, jet ski, or other motorized vessel in the State of West Virginia while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. See W. Va. Code § 20-7-18b. This is known as boating under the influence or BUI.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources typically investigates such incidents. The penalty for boating while under the influence of alcohol is confinement of 24 hours to 6 months and a fine of $100 to $500. There are enhanced penalties for BUI causing injury and death.

Many of the same laws and regulations for regular DUI cases also apply to boating under the influence, such as having reasonable suspicion to stop a boat, jet ski, or other motorized vessel.