BUI: Boating Under the Influence

Boating under the influence (BUI) is a criminal offense that Florida law enforcement agencies are cracking down upon more and more. Penalties for a BUI conviction can be severe, ranging from community service and probation to imprisonment and heavy fines.

BUI is a similar offense to driving under the influence in that the approved blood alcohol concentration must be below .08% in drivers over 21 and under .02% in drivers under 21. Sentencing will depend upon the number of convictions and the severity of the crime. All sentences include mandatory substance abuse classes and monthly probation reporting, as well as a possible 12-month probation period including community service and the 10-day impounding of your boat.

BUI Conviction

Although most BUI cases are charged as misdemeanors, charges and sentences will vary depending upon any prior convictions:

  • 1st conviction (no priors) - $250-500 fine / up to 6 months in prison
  • 2nd conviction - $500-1000 fine / up to 9 months in prison
  • 3rd conviction (10+ years after prior convictions) - $1000-2500 fine / up to 12 months in prison
  • 3rd conviction (within 10 years of prior convictions) or 4th conviction – felony charge

Florida is known for its beautiful beaches and excellent boating spots. Unfortunately, with the increasing popularity of boating and the large number of boats in Florida’s waters, accidents occur. BUI can be a cause for these accidents and so Florida law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for drivers who appear to be impaired or intoxicated.

The criminal defense lawyers at LeavenLaw are committed to helping Tampaand St. Petersburg residents with their BUI charges. Through experience and dedication as well as aggressive courtroom techniques, we will give you the defense you need and deserve.