In Florida, boating under the influence, BUI, is a crime that is taken very seriously. It is due, in part, to the fact that the state leads the nation in boating deaths each year. Of these accidents, nearly one-third involve alcohol. In more than half of the accidents, the person who died either capsized their boat or fell overboard.

If you are charged with BUI anywhere in Florida, you can expect that you are prosecuted aggressively. The good news for you, and anyone else charged with BUI, is that not all cases lead to conviction. In many cases, your charges could be reduced or dismissed altogether.

Elements of BUI

It is important to understand that it is not illegal to consume alcohol on a boat. What is illegal is to operate the boat after you have consumed an intoxicant. An arrest can occur if a law enforcement officer suspects you of drinking and boating or if you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher.

Stopping the Boat

Just like stopping a vehicle, law enforcement officers on the water must have cause to stop your boat. In most cases, law enforcement officers believe that you are violating some regulation or speeding. Officers can also stop you for a random equipment check, or to be sure you are complying with fishing or safety regulations.

If the officer on your boat suspects that you may have been drinking, they can ask that you complete sobriety tests, up to and including a chemical test of your breath, blood or urine.

If you are charged with and convicted of BUI, you will have a criminal record that can follow you for the rest of your life. It is important to hire an attorney if you are charged with BUI in order to help lessen the consequences of your arrest.

When you are charged with boating under the influence in Florida, call our office. We have experienced team members who are ready to provide you with a free case evaluation. Call us now so that we can provide you with your options.

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