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Can you get a DUI on a boat?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2020 | Uncategorized

Lake County offers an abundance of beautiful scenic lakes with just as many fun water activities. Whether you’re a Florida resident or just visiting, boating is one of those popular activities that water enthusiasts partake in.

While boating, it isn’t unusual to relax and enjoy a few drinks with friends. However, your day out on the lake can take a turn for the worse if you operate a boat while intoxicated. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s illegal as well.

Repercussions of a BUI

Boating DUIs, also known as BUIs, have just as harsh of penalties and pose just as much of a risk as driving a car while intoxicated. Just because you’re out on the water doesn’t mean alcohol affects you any differently.

The legal limit for boat operation is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08%. Any higher, and you put yourself at risk of receiving a BUI. The penalties for first time offenders include:

  • A fine between $500 and $1,000
  • No more than six months in prison

The higher your BAC or the more convictions you have on your record, the harsher the penalties will be. BUI accidents involving the serious injury or death of another person can even result in felony charges.

In addition, these penalties don’t just cover operating a boat. You could receive a BUI while operating any motorized watercraft, including jet skis. Even operating non-motorized watercrafts such as kayaks, canoes or sailboats while intoxicated can sometimes result in a BUI arrest.

Facing BUI charges?

Boating on the beautiful lakes that Florida has to offer is a time for you to relax and enjoy yourself, but it’s not an excuse to let your guard down and take unnecessary risks.

If you are stopped under suspicion of boating under the influence, know that you do have legal rights in this situation. An arrest can be overwhelming and confusing, but an attorney can help you understand your case and build a defense that may minimize the penalties that a BUI can have for you.