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BOATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

What is the punishment Boating Under the Influence (BUI) in Florida?

It is unlawful for anyone to operate a vessel within Florida while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that his or her normal facilities are impaired or has a Breath or Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 or above.

The definition of operate a vessel has a different definition than operating or being in actual physical control of a vehicle. Operating a vessel means “to be in charge of, command of or in actual physical control of a vessel upon the waters of this state, to exercise control over or have responsibility for the vessel's navigation or safety while the vessel is underway. . . or to control or steer a vessel being towed by another vessel. . .”

For a first conviction for BUI, with a BAC .14 or lower and no minor in the vessel the punishment is:

A fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000;

Jail for not more than 6 months, but this not a mandatory jail sentence;

Impoundment or immobilization of the vessel for 10 days, which may not occur while you are incarcerated;

50 hours of community service, that may not be bought out;

12 months' probation.

For a second conviction within 5 years of the prior conviction, for BUI, with a BAC .14 or lower and no minor in the vessel the punishment is:

A fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000;

Mandatory 10 days in jail of which at least 48 hours must be served consecutive;

12 months' probation;

Impoundment or immobilization of the vessel for 30 days, which must not occur during incarceration.

50 hours of community service, which may not be bought out.

For a first conviction for BUI, with a BAC of .15 or higher or where there is a minor in the vessel the punishment is:

A fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000;

Jail for not more than 9 months, but this is not a mandatory jail sentence;

Monthly reporting probation;

Attend and complete a substances abuse course;

Substance abuse evaluation and treatment if needed;

Impoundment or immobilization of the vessel, which may not occur while you are incarcerated;

50 hours of community service, that may not be bought out.

For a second conviction for BUI, with a BAC of .15 or higher or where there is a minor in the vessel the punishment is:

A fine of not less than $2,000 or more than $4,000;

Jail for not more than 12 months, but this is not a mandatory jail sentence;

12 Months reporting probation;

Attend and complete a substances abuse course;

Substance abuse evaluation and treatment if needed;

Impoundment or immobilization of the vessel, which may not occur while you are incarcerated;

50 hours of community service, that may not be bought out.

For a third conviction for BUI, within 10 years of a prior conviction the punishment is:

Commits a felony of the 3rd degree with a maximum jail sentence of 5 yearsA fine of not less than $2,000 or more than $10,000;

Mandatory jail sentence of not less than 30 days, 48 hours of which must be served consecutive;

Monthly reporting probation;

Attend and complete a substances abuse course;

Substance abuse evaluation and treatment if needed;

Impoundment or immobilization of the vessel for 90 days, which may not occur while you are incarcerated;

50 hours of community service, that may not be bought out.

CONTACT US

John P. Rutkowski, Attorney at Law, firm represents clients in the areas of Criminal Defense, DUI, BUI, Criminal & Civil Traffic Offenses. Contact Mr. Rutkowski today for a free telephone consultation.

MAILING ADDRESS

3941 Tamiami Trail
Ste 3157-101
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
941-888-0709
866-397-9055 (fax)

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