Can I Get a DUI Driving a Boat in Florida?
Boating Under the Influence
Yes. It is known as “boating under the influence”, or BUI. In Florida, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content level of .08 or higher — the same as it is to operate a vehicle. (Florida Statute Ch. 327.35) Alcohol is a leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths and a major contributor to accidents. Last year in Florida, 32% of fatal accidents were related to alcohol or drug use—according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission.
Agencies That Can Stop You for a BUI
What also must be understood is the fact that several governmental agencies can stop and arrest a boater for suspected BUI. These include the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (“FWC”), the US Coast Guard, the local Sheriff’s Office, and the local Police Department. For the last two agencies, many counties and cities keep marine patrols which perform arrests for BUI.
BUI Penalties in Florida
The penalties for BUI start with a fine of between $500-$1000 and up to 6 months in jail. Penalties are enhanced if it is not the first BUI or DUI, or the blood alcohol level reaches .15 or more. Penalties are also increased if the BUI results in property damage (a misdemeanor), or in cases causing bodily injury (3rd-degree felony), or in BUI death cases (possible manslaughter charges).
Were You Injured As A Result Of A BUI? Get Help Today.
If you or your family have been injured as a result of boating under the influence boat driver give us a call. We are specialists in boating accidents, including injuries caused by BUI boat operators.
You can count on our 25 years experience handling boating BUI injury cases.
Contact us now. Evenings and weekends. 1-888-BOATLAW.