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Florida BUI Attorney

Florida BUI Attorney


Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Florida Defense Attorneys

If you take your boat for a ride and drink alcohol while doing so, you could face boating under the influence (BUI) in Florida. Individuals pulled over by law enforcement while boating under suspicion of operating a watercraft when under the influence can face a myriad of heavy-handed charges that can potentially ruin your life if you don’t have an experienced Florida BUI attorney to defend you.

Boating Under the Influence Laws in Florida

Individuals who choose to boat while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol violate Florida Statute 327.35. This piece of law recognizes the impairment of reaction time in those who are operating a watercraft while intoxicated. Despite this offense typically being a misdemeanor, it will still leave a lasting mark on your permanent record, incur stiff fines, and the circumstances of your case could enhance the charges against you.

State law defines BUI as the operation of a boat or vessel while impaired by:

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Other substances
  • Combination of two or more above

Florida has a strict blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 and can demand you take a breathalyzer or blood test or submit to determine your intoxication level. This testing also applies if a boat operator is under suspicion of being under the influence of drugs.

Florida BUI Penalties

In Florida law, there are many possible outcomes when charged with boating under the influence. The circumstances of your arrest, previous record, and other facts of the case make it impossible to predict the severity of your case outcome.

Maximum penalties for this crime mirror those of drunk driving laws in the state and could include:

First Offense

  • Maximum of up to 6 months in jail
  • Fines ranging between $500 to $1000
  • One year of probation maximum
  • Mandatory community service of up to 50 hours

Second Offense

  • Minimum ten days up to 9 months total in jail.
  • Fines ranging between $1,000 to $2,000
  • One year maximum of probation
  • Mandatory community service of up to 50 hours

Third Offense

  • Prior convictions over10 years ago: up to 12 months in jail
  • Prior convictions previous ten years: Up to 5 years in prison
  • Potential charge upgrade to a third-degree felony if previously convicted in the past decade
  • Fines ranging between $2,000 to $5,000

Fourth or More Offense

  • Charge is automatically a third-degree felony regardless of a previous conviction
  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Any other consequences the court deems appropriate

In addition to these already devastating sentencing scenarios, charges could receive enhancement if you cause any of the following while boating under the influence:

  • Cause an Accident
  • Cause Serious Injuries
  • Cause a Death
  • Fail to Render Aid

Additional factors that can increase the severity of charges involve having children with you while boating drunk or blowing a BAC of 0.15 or higher.

Retain a Florida BUI Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately

While many defense strategies can help lessen sentencing or possibly get charges dropped, you don’t stand a chance without an experienced Florida BUI criminal defense attorney by your side. It’s in your best interest to get legal counsel as soon as possible once charged. Attorney Jessica Damoth, P.A., is a criminal defense attorney in Daytona Beach who specializes in defending clients accused of BUI, DUI, and other traffic-related crimes. Call our office today at (386) 846-6043 to schedule a free consultation.

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