Providing Quality Criminal Defense For Boating Under The Influence
With its miles of coastline and beautiful climate, Florida is naturally a popular boating destination for both in-state residents and out-of-state visitors. Spending a day on the water is an enjoyable activity that often goes hand-in-hand with drinking alcohol. However, boats are motor vehicles just like cars or trucks, and Florida legislators and prosecutors take the offense of boating while under the influence (BUI) of alcohol very seriously.
Under Florida statute 327.351, the legal threshold for BUI is a blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent. While this is the same as the legal limit for driving a motor vehicle on land (DUI), there are some marked differences in how BUI cases are handled. For example:
- Both your vessel and your land vehicle may be subject impoundment or immobilization for at least 10 days. Your vessel may even be impounded if someone else received the BUI while driving your boat.
- Law enforcement conducting field sobriety tests while boarded on your boat is next to impossible due to the movement of the water. By the time you reach the shore and undergo any type of alcohol testing, such tests may be inaccurate.
- Since no license is required to drive a boat, a BUI does not result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
These differences can have a huge impact on possible defense strategies and concerns in a BUI case from a DUI case. For this reason, you always want to make sure you seek representation by a Florida BUI defense attorney with experience in this type of case. At the Cobb Criminal Defense Law Firm, we understand the complexities of defending BUI charges, so please contact us today if you are facing charges.
Potential Penalties For BUI
The penalties for BUI can be serious and may include the following:
- Imprisonment for up to six (6) months
- A fine of $500 to $1,000
- Mandatory substance abuse classes
- Mandatory community service
Such penalties may substantially increase under many circumstances, such as having a BAC over 0.15 percent, causing an accident, injury, or death in the course of your BUI, or having prior BUI or DUI convictions on your record.
In order to avoid these strict penalties, you should never simply plead guilty to a BUI or attempt to handle your case on your own. Florida BUI defense lawyer Stephen G. Cobb and his legal team are highly skilled in identifying weaknesses in a prosecutor’s case in order to protect your rights and minimize the consequences you face. If you have been charged with BUI in Florida, do not delay in calling our office at (850) 669-5882 for assistance.
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