Also referred to as “BUI,” boating under the influence is a common offense in Florida. A primary reason for this is that residents and tourists alike visit Florida’s beautiful bodies of water throughout the year, and typically bring booze to sip while cruising. Although it may seem harmless to crack open a beer and enjoy the waters, it is important to know the penalties if you arrested and charged with a BUI.
Under Florida Statutes Section 327.35, you may be found guilty of boating under the influence if you operate a vessel and:
For clarification, the term “vessel” encompasses boats, watercrafts, barges, and airboats, other than a seaplane on the water, used as a means of transportation on water.
If you are captain of the boat, the safest choice is to avoid alcohol consumption. Don’t be fooled, you can get arrested and charged for BUI on the water just as fast as you can on land. If you get convicted of this crime, you will suffer the same penalties as those who are found guilty of DUI. Convictions involving a BAC of .08 or higher are subject to the following punishments:
If your BAC was .15 or higher, or a person under 18 years old was in the vessel at the time of your alleged BUI, your penalties may be the following:
It is easier than you may think to get a BUI in Florida, as law enforcement is equally vigilant on the water as on land. Similar to DUI stops, you may be asked to perform field sobriety exercises, which may include the following FSE’s:
Due to the constraints of doing FSE’s on a boat, not all the FSE’s you may be asked to perform are the same as those during a DUI investigation. In addition, an officer may ask you to perform non-standardized field sobriety tests, such as hand coordination and hand pat tests. These tests are difficult for even a sober person to perform. Thus, if you were accused of boating under the influence in St. Petersburg, Anita can provide the aggressive advocacy your case relies on. The earlier you begin your defense, the better.
Schedule a free consultation online or by calling (727) 826-7135 to discuss your case!
The content in this blog is for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This blog content is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.