Effective July 28, 2013, a newly-revised Boating Under the Influence (BUI) law came into effect in the State of Washington. Penalties were raised to that of a gross misdemeanor instead of a simple misdemeanor. There still is no mandatory minimum jail term or fine. A refusal to provide a breath sample is not admissible at the trial, however a boater can be subjected to a $1000 civil fine for refusing a test. This legislation also authorizes search warrants for blood testing when a person refuses to provide a breath sample. Consistent with the recent amendments to Washington DUI law, this recent legislation makes it illegal to drive a boat with a THC concentration of 5 nanograms or higher.
What is very confusing is that the legislature, in part, incorporated the implied consent law for a driver’s license into this new boating regulation, even though a driver’s license is not necessary to operate a boat.