Driver's License Suspension and BUI


The Department of Motor Vehicles would like greater power to suspend a person's license upon conviction for boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The laws against BUI are similar to those criminalizing driving under the influence and a prior BUI conviction can be used to enhance a DUI charge. However, much as the Department of Motor Vehicles might wish otherwise, the DMV cannot suspend a person’s driver’s license based on a BUI conviction.

The DMV has tried to argue that when a person violates the BUI law he effectively violates the DUI law for the purposes of license suspension.

However, the courts have held that although a prior BUI conviction may used to enhance the punishment for a subsequent DUI conviction, suspension of driving privileges is not a “permissible punishment” for a BUI conviction.

In addition to arguments in court, the DMV has drafted proposed legislation for the Legislature to adopt giving the Department the power to revoke a person's license upon conviction of a BUI.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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