Boating Under the Influence Attorney in Lakeland, FL
A lawyer you can trust to protect your rights in any situation
Operating any type of motor vehicle when under the influence of drugs and alcohol can have serious legal repercussions and potentially deadly consequences.
Although not given as much attention as driving under the influence, operating a boat while under the influence is every bit as dangerous — and in some respects, more dangerous. With this in mind, the state of Florida has a number of laws which pertain to boating under the influence (BUI).
Boating under the influence is a serious offense. Depending on the details of the incident, boating under the influence can result in a misdemeanor or felony charge. It can be punished by stiff fines, community service, and even jail time. If you or a loved one are facing boating under the influence charges in Florida, it’s essential to enlist the assistance of an experienced defense attorney right away. You need Thomas C. Grajek, Attorney at Law.
Florida Boating Under the Influence laws
In the state of Florida, it is illegal to operate a watercraft such as a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are found to be operating “any vessel capable of being used as a means of transportation on water” while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can be charged with a BUI.
Being “under the influence” means that an individual’s “normal faculties are impaired” by drugs or alcohol, or their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 or higher. This is the same definition used for DUI on land.
Although Boating Under the Influence (BUI) charges are quite similar to DUI charges issued for drivers and even referred to as “Boat DUIs” or “DUI on a Boat,” there are some essential differences. In particular, unlike a DUI, a BUI charge does not have any effect on your driver’s license.
What are the penalties for impaired boating (BUI) charges?
Penalties for a BUI charge can vary depending on the details of the specific incident, the offender’s past charges, and complicating factors such as property damage, injuries, or death.
For first time offenders, most BUI offenses are a misdemeanor which can result in up to $2,000 in fines and as much as a year in jail.
If the incident involved serious injuries to another person, it becomes a felony charge with penalties ranging up to five years in jail and $5,000 in fines. If the incident involved the death of another person, it becomes a first- or second-degree felony punishable by as much as 15 years in prison or $10,000 in fines.
For offenders with multiple BUI or DUI offenses, these penalties increase substantially for each subsequent BUI or DUI charge.
Why you need an experienced BUI lawyer
If you’re facing a BUI charge in the state of Florida, the best route to minimizing the consequences is to seek legal representation from a lawyer experienced in the defense of boating under the influence charges. With a strong legal defense on your side, you’ll be able to navigate the legal system effectively, prepare a strong legal argument in your defense, and potentially minimize charges and sentencing — or even beat the charges and get an acquittal.
An experienced BUI lawyer can find ways to undermine the prosecution’s case against you: test results, witness testimony, and “experts” the prosecutor may hire. You need a lawyer with one goal: to get your charges dropped or win a Not Guilty verdict at trial.
When you’re dealing with a BUI charge, your future is at stake. Don’t panic; get an experienced Lakeland BUI defense attorney on your side. Call 863-688-4606 or use the online contact form for a free consultation.