In some respects, being charged with DUI/OVI while operating a boat is the same as being charged while operating a car. The standard for intoxication for BUI (boating under the influence), for example, are the same: a BAC of .08 or above. The consequences are also similar in that they include mandatory jail time and significant fines. However, in some ways boating DUIs are more complex. Due to maritime law, boat operators don’t have all the same constitutional protections on the water that they have on the road.
While no license is required to operate a non-commercial boating vehicle in the state of Ohio, refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test may result in a mandatory 1 year "No Operation of a Watercraft" or "Registration of Watercraft" ruling.
One common possible complexity in BUI cases are prior convictions of DUI/OVI. If you have a prior traditional DUI conviction, your BUI charge may be treated as a repeat offense, making you eligible for higher penalties. Alternatively, if you have a BUI conviction on your record and are subsequently charged with a DUI/OVI while operating a car or other land-based vehicle, you may also be eligible for harsher penalties.
Attorney Adam VanHo has defended numerous clients charged with this first degree misdemeanor, and has a strong record of getting his clients enrolled in diversionary/driver intervention programs. The sooner you contact him, the sooner he can get to work helping you minimize the impact of a BUI charge on your record.