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Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is defined as the act of operating a water vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. BUI is a criminal offense that is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony and has heavy penalties for anyone convicted.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a Miami BUI defense attorney.
BUI vs. DUI
BUI charges are handled in much the same way as DUI, including similar enforcement of penalties upon conviction. However, a BUI conviction cannot result in the direct suspension of a defendant’s driver’s license. BUI is comparable to DUI in that the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is the same.
If a boater’s BAC is 0.08% or above, their driving capabilities are considered to be legally impaired, and they can be charged with BUI. If a person’s BAC is 0.20% or higher, they will face more severe penalties. In BUI cases, it is imperative to avoid a conviction overall, as sentencing will depend upon the number of previous BUI convictions.
Florida BUI Penalties
The following are BUI offenses and their corresponding penalties:
- If a person is convicted of BUI, they may face up to 6 months in prison and pay fines of up to $500 for a first conviction.
- If a person is convicted of BUI for a second time, they may face up to 9 months in prison and may pay fines of up to $1,000.
- If a person is convicted of BUI for a third, fourth, or consecutive offense, it may be charged as a felony, which means there will be harsher fines and possibly years in prison.
Additional punishments may include mandatory alcohol treatment or rehabilitation, monthly probation reporting, community service, and they may have their boat impounded.
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