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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, criminal defense attorney, is focused on all aspects, Criminal Defense, Driving Under the Influence. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

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