Don Waggoner Law

Orlando and Kissimmee Criminal Defense Lawyer and DUI Attorney

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BOATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (BU
I)


Florida Statute § 327.35

Boating under the influence (BUI) is similar to driving under the influence (DUI) except that it involves a boat or other watercraft instead of an automobile. While it isn’t illegal to consume alcoholic beverages before operating a boat, it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A BUI arrest is a very serious charge in the state of Florida.

If you or a loved one is facing boating under the influence (BUI) charges in the Kissimmee or Orlando, FL, area, call Don Waggoner, a Kissimmee and Orlando BUI defense attorney today.

BUI – INITIAL POLICE CONTACT


In Florida, law enforcement officers are allowed to board boats upon the waterways (rivers, lakes, the ocean, canals, etc.) at any time and for almost any reason.  Boaters on the water have limited Fourth Amendment rights.  If your boat is stopped on a waterway, you are not required to make any statements or cooperate with the officers other than by giving them any paperwork they ask for and allowing them access to the boat.

Boating Under the Influence (BUI):


Under Florida law, a boating under the influence (BUI) arrest can occur when either your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, or the arresting officer suspects that your normal faculties are impaired due to either alcohol or drugs. For those under the age of 21 who operate a boat in Florida, the legal limit is 0.02%. The consequences of a BUI offense can be very serious, including fines, imprisonment, community service, rehabilitation, court costs, and more. In addition, if you are convicted of BUI, it will count as a prior DUI on any subsequent DUI offense you may be charged with.

Boating Under the Influence (BUI): Criminal Penalties


According to Florida Statute 327.35, the penalties for a conviction on boating under the influence (BUI) with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for a first conviction; not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 for a second conviction; and imprisonment for not more than 6 months for a first conviction or not more than 9 months for a second conviction. If you are convicted of a third BUI violation within 10 years after a prior conviction for BUI, it is considered a third-degree felony. In addition, if your blood-alcohol level was 0.15% or higher, a fine will be imposed of not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 for a first conviction; not less than $2,000 or more than $4,000 for a second conviction; not less than $4,000 for a third or subsequent conviction, and imprisonment for not more than 9 months for a first conviction and not more than 12 months for a second conviction. Penalties may be increased if children were on the boat, or if a boating accident caused death or serious bodily injury.

Boating Under the Influence (BUI):


Your Options in Orlando and Kissimmee, FL

Law enforcement officers investigating a boating under the influence (BUI) case must often make a judgment call about whether to arrest a boater. The crime of BUI is committed only when the driver has consumed enough alcohol to exceed the legal limit of 0.08% or when the driver’s faculties are impaired due to drugs or alcohol. However, distractions such as weather conditions can cause difficulties in operating a boat safely, and sea sickness can intensify the effects of drugs or alcohol. An attorney experienced in BUI cases can examine the facts of your case and may be able to lessen the charges against you or even eliminate them entirely.