In the United States, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is taken very seriously. According to Fla. Stat. § 327.35, boating under the influence is illegal, too. Although not as highly publicized, BUI can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. According to Florida law, a person is guilty of BUI when he/she operates a maritime vessel under the influence of alcohol or chemical substances. In all fifty states, a person is considered impaired when his/her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher. Just like drunk driving, BUI may cause accidents, serious bodily injury and death.
If convicted of BUI, you may be subject to harsh penalties. First BUI convictions are punishable by a fine between $500 and $1,000. Second convictions are punishable by a $2,000 fine. If convicted of BUI for the first time, you may be subject to six months in jail. Second convictions are punishable by nine months in jail, and third (and subsequent) violations will be charged as third degree felonies. If convicted of a third violation in a period of 10 years, you may be penalized by one year of incarceration and a $5,000 fine. Fourth BUI convictions are charged as third degree felonies as well. If an individual operates a vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol and damages the property of another person, he/she may be charged with a felony offense.
If you are arrested for operating watercraft with a BAC of .15 percent or higher, your penalties will increase. According to subparagraph four of § 327.35 of the Florida Statutes, those convicted of BUI with .15 BAC or higher could face the following penalties:
Talk to a Tampa DUI lawyer from our firm about the possibility of paying for alcohol abuse courses and additional penalties facing those convicted of BUI.
Do not take any chances with your future if you were accused of boating under the influence. These serious charges could result in a loss of driving privileges, fines, and jail time. For experienced help, talk to a Tampa criminal attorney from our legal team. At Taracks & Associates, we have the necessary skill and experience to defend you. As former prosecutors, we understand how the other side thinks, which greatly aids us in creating your defense. Contact a Tampa BUI attorney from Taracks & Associates today and see what an attorney from the firm can do for your case.