While the Florida Highway Patrol monitor our Florida highways looking to make possible DUI arrests, most boating under the influence (BUI) arrests are made by The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and occur in the no wake zone or at the dock. According to News 4, Jacksonville on the web page, http://www.news4jax.com/news/fwc-arrests-4-on-dui-charges, “Donnie Perron, Teri Sapp and Derek Booth were arrested at the Wayne Stevens Boat Ramp on the Ortega River when officers said they each showed signs of impairment. James Willman was arrested near Adventure Landing after officers said he was sped through a no-wake zone on the Intracoastal Waterway in Jacksonville Beach. In Perron’s case, the FWC officer had to get use his pickup truck and pull his boat out of the river because Perron was having trouble doing it.”
With the massive Atlantic ocean coast line running from one end of Florida to the other and thousands of miles of Intercoastal Waterways and canals, Floridians use boats more often than any other state residents with the possible exception of Illinois. Beautiful weather affords Floridians the opportunity to boat year-round and most do so every weekend and on the holidays. While boating is on the rise, everyone should know that you can not drink or use drugs while operating a vessel on the water. As a Florida boating under the influence (BUI) defense attorney people should be advised that the laws for Boating Under the Influence in Florida are every bit as strict as they are for Driving Under the Influence. If you are arrested and charged with BUI, exercise your right to remain silent and call Florida BUI attorney Malcolm Anthony immediately.
Florida BUI laws are particularly strict for repeat offenders and for operating a vessel with a person under 18 years of age. Also, while .08 is the legal limit for both DUI and BUI, anyone who registers a BAC over .20 faces extremely severe penalties. A person who is convicted of BUI with a BAC of .20 or higher, and was accompanied in the vessel by a person under 18 faces a minimum fine of $500 for a first conviction up to a minimum of $2000 for a third conviction. That person could also spend up to one year in state prison. In addition to large fines and long prison terms, the person could also be forced to report to a probation officer every month and attend substance abuse counseling at their own cost.