BUI (Boating Under the Influence) Overview
Boating under the influence (BUI) is defined as the act of operating a water vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. BUI is a criminal offense that is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony – carrying heavy penalties for anyone convicted.
The BUI criminal defense attorneys at LeavenLaw are experienced in defending BUI cases in Florida. We understand exactly what is needed to successfully defend a case and work hard to do so. In BUI cases it is essential to avoid a conviction altogether, as sentencing will depend upon the number of prior BUI convictions. Our lawyers and support staff are familiar with all aspects of BUI cases and will work hard to help you avoid that first conviction or any consecutive ones.
BUI is similar to DUI in that the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is the same. If a boater’s BAC is .08% or above, his driving abilities are considered to be legally impaired and he can be charged with BUI. If a person’s BAC is .20% or higher, he will face increased penalties.
Florida BUI Information
With its beautiful beaches and waters, Florida is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and water sports. In accordance, the number of boating under the influence offenses is high and law enforcement officers are increasingly aware of suspicious activity indicative of BUI. Florida courts also observe heavy penalties for BUI offenders.
For a first conviction, punishment for a BUI conviction may be a fine of up to $500 and a prison sentence of up to 6 months. A second conviction will carry a fine of up to $1000 and a 9 month prison sentence. A third, fourth or consecutive conviction may lead to a felony charge –meaning heavier fines and possibly years in prison. Additional punishment includes substance abuse courses, monthly probation reporting, community service and the loss of one’s boat (by impounding).