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

Posted by John Rutkowski | Jul 01, 2018 | 0 Comments

Boating Under the Influence (BUI)

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:

  1. A fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000;
  2. Jail for not more than 6 months, but this not a mandatory jail sentence;
  3. Impoundment or immobilization of the vessel for 10 days, which may not occur while you are incarcerated;
  4. 50 hours of community service, that may not be bought out;
  5. 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:

  1. A fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000;
  2. Mandatory 10 days in jail of which at least 48 hours must be served consecutive;
  3. 12 months' probation;
  4. Impoundment or immobilization of the vessel for 30 days, which must not occur during incarceration.
  5. 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:

  1. A fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000;
  2. Jail for not more than 9 months, but this is not a mandatory jail sentence;
  3. Monthly reporting probation;
  4. Attend and complete a substances abuse course;
  5. Substance abuse evaluation and treatment if needed;
  6. Impoundment or immobilization of the vessel, which may not occur while you are incarcerated;
  7. 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:

  1. A fine of not less than $2,000 or more than $4,000;
  2. Jail for not more than 12 months, but this is not a mandatory jail sentence;
  3. 12 Months reporting probation;
  4. Attend and complete a substances abuse course;
  5. Substance abuse evaluation and treatment if needed;
  6. Impoundment or immobilization of the vessel, which may not occur while you are incarcerated;
  7. 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:

  1. Commits a felony of the 3rd degree with a maximum jail sentence of 5 years
  2. A fine of not less than $2,000 or more than $10,000;
  3. Mandatory jail sentence of not less than 30 days, 48 hours of which must be served consecutive;
  4. Monthly reporting probation;
  5. Attend and complete a substances abuse course;
  6. Substance abuse evaluation and treatment if needed;
  7. Impoundment or immobilization of the vessel for 90 days, which may not occur while you are incarcerated;
  8. 50 hours of community service, that may not be bought out.

About the Author

John Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-three years. Prior to practicing law Mr. Rutkowski served twelve years as a deputy sheriff, retiring to attend law school. Starting his law-enforcement career as a patrol deputy which included two years on the DUI squad; Mr. Rutkowski moved up the ranks becoming a corporal in the field training program which give him the responsibility for training new recruits.

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John P. Rutkowski, Attorney at Law, is focused on all aspects, Criminal Defense, Criminal Appeals, Driving/Boating Under the Influence. Sale, Delivery, Possession Drugs, All Sex Crimes, Felony & Misdemeanor. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

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