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Pensacola BUI Lawyer

Because we live near the Gulf of Mexico, Pensacola Bay, Perdido Bay, the Intercoastal Waterway and numerous coastal waterways, boating under the
influence (BUI) cases are quite common here in the Pensacola area.  BUI is generally the same as a DUI offense, the only difference is that it involves a boat (or vessel) instead of a vehicle. So just like for a DUI, you can be guilty of BUI if your normal faculties are impaired or you have a blood or breath-alcohol level of .08 or higher. However, there are some legal issues and penalties that are different for a BUI case.

Penalties For Boating Under the Influence (BUI)

*Previous DUI / Driving Under the Influence convictions can be used to enhance and
increase a BUI Sentence*

First BUI Conviction
Fine: Not less than $500, or more than $1,000.
With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of .15 or higher or minor in the boat: Not less than $2,000,
or more than $4,000.
Jail: Not more than 6 months. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the boat: Not more than 12 months.
Probation: Mandatory monthly reporting for up to 1 year and mandatory attendance at a substance abuse  course.Mandatory 50 hours of community service or additional $10 fine for each hour of community service  required Boat impoundment for 10 days (or prop impoundment)

Second BUI Conviction
Fine: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000.
With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of .15 or higher or minor in the boat: Not less than $1,000,
or more than $2,000.
Jail: 10 days jail minimum if second conviction is within 5 years (9 months max).
With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the boat: Not more than 12 months.
Probation: Mandatory monthly reporting for up to 1 year and mandatory attendance at a substance abuse  course.
Boat impoundment for 30 days

Third or Subsequent BUI Conviction       
3rd BUI/DUI conviction within 10 years is a Third Degree Felony or a Misdemeanor if outside a 10 years  window.

Fine: For 3rd conviction more than 10 years since past conviction not less than $2,000 but no more than  $5,000.
With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of .15 or higher or minor in the boat: Not less than $4,000
Jail:30 days minimum for 3rd DUI/BUI conviction within 10 years. Maximum 12 months jail for 3rd  BUI/DUI conviction that occurs more than 10 years since previous conviction.Maximum of 5 years in            prison for a felony offense
Probation: Mandatory monthly reporting and mandatory attendance at a substance abuse course.
Boat impoundment for 90 days

Other Specific Issues Related to BUI

Implied Consent
The big difference between implied consent for a DUI case and a BUI case is that if you are arrested for a BUI your driver’s license CANNOT be suspended. You will be facing criminal charges only for the BUI and you may be facing an additional charge of refusing to submit to testing if you previously refused in the past.

Refusal To Submit To Testing
If you refuse to provide a breath, blood or urine test you will be issued a $500.00 fine (you are also facing an additional misdemeanor, aside from being charged with BUI, if you have previously refused). Once you are issued this penalty you have 30 days to request a hearing in order to contest this fine.
Once you have requested this hearing the payment of the fine is postponed until your hearing is heard and decided. At the hearing issues regarding the legality of the arrest and if the officer followed the proper procedures (such as giving you the proper warnings) will be argued into order to convince the hearing officer to overturn the fine.

Blood Test
You can be forced to give a blood sample if you are involved in a boating accident that resulted in serious bodily injury or death. Otherwise, a search warrant will be required to force you to give a blood sample.

Under Age Drinking and Boating
The same rules that apply to DUI apply to BUI. If you are under the age of 21 you are not allowed to operate a boat with a breath-alcohol level of .02 or
higher. The law of implied consent comes into play when an officer has probable cause to believe that you are under 21 and you are operating the boat and are under the influence of alcohol. The officer will request that you submit to a breath test. If you refuse to submit to a breath test the officer has to warn you that failure to take the test will result in you having to perform 50 hours of community service. In addition you will not be allowed to operate the boat again until you have completed the 50 hours. If convicted of BUI you will have to complete the 50 hours plus a boating safety course before you are allowed to operate a boat again.

Vessel
Can you get a BUI in a canoe?  Can you get a BUI on an stand up paddle board?
Technically, yes.  Florida Statute 327.02(43)  defines “Vessel” as synonymous with boat as referenced in s. 1(b), Art. VII of the State Constitution and includes every description of watercraft, barge, and airboat, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.

When you retain me as your Pensacola defense lawyer, I am going to fight for you from the very beginning until the very end. My goal is to get the absolute best possible resolution to your BUI case.

If you are facing a criminal charge for boating under the influence (BUI) in the Pensacola area please contact me contact me  directly so that I may answer any questions you have and provide you with a free case evaluation.  (850) 437-9410