Florida law enforcement officials take BUI (boating under the influence) charges as seriously as drunk driving. If you were stopped and charged with a DUI on a boat (or BUI) because the law enforcement officials thought you were impaired, you should immediately contact our top-rated Tampa boat DUI attorneys at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett. We know the applicable state laws and how to win these cases to limit or eliminate the severe Florida BUI charges you are currently facing.

Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Laws in Florida

Under Florida statute 327.25:

  • If you were operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could be found guilty of boating under the influence
  • The legal BAC limit is under 0.08 for a boater over 21, which is the same limit as for a motorist
  • Individuals under 21 cannot operate a boat with alcohol or drugs in their system

You can also be arrested for a boat DUI if the officer believes you are operating the boat under the influence of a controlled substance that has altered your normal faculties. This is true even for prescription drugs if they can alter your physical capabilities or perception.

Implied Consent in BUI Cases in Florida

Anyone driving a car with a valid Florida license automatically consents to a breathalyzer test, known as implied consent. If you are stopped under the suspicion of BUI, the implied consent law will apply, and you will be asked by the officer to submit to a breath test.

It’s crucial to realize that while you can be fined for refusing to submit to this test, you are not required to submit to a field sobriety test as per the law. There is no valid sobriety test for operating a boat under impaired conditions. Additionally, a recent US Supreme Court decision has made it non-essential for boat operators to submit to a BAC test unless the law enforcement authorities have a valid warrant.

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Potential Consequences if Convicted for a Boat DUI in Florida

You may face a fine between $500 and $1,000 and up to six months in jail if:

  • This is your first BUI conviction, and
  • You were found to have a BAC higher than 0.08%

Other potential consequences include the following:

  • A second conviction penalty is a fine of up to $2,000, and a jail sentence of up to 9 months
  • These punishments become harsher if the BAC is higher than 0.15%
  • A third-time BUI conviction becomes a third-degree felony if the boat operator gets convicted within ten years of the previous conviction
  • This is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and 5 – 10 years in prison
  • The punishment for a conviction outside of 10 years is up to 1 year in prison and less than $5,000 in fine
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Discuss a Winning Defense Strategy with Florida’s Leading Boat DUI Lawyers to Get Your Charges Dismissed

Our experienced boat DUI lawyers in Tampa have successfully handled several drunk boating cases. The moment you sign up with us, our proven attorneys will immediately move to collect evidence and prepare a robust defense strategy to have your boat DUI charges reduced or dropped. To schedule your free case review with our lawyers, call us at 877-728-9653 or complete our online form.

Free Case Evaluation Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate your legal concerns.

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