Boating Under the Influence (BUI)

Boat & Beer Boating Under The Influence MiamiBecause we live near the ocean boating under the influence (BUI) cases are quite common here in Miami. BUI is the same as a DUI the only difference is that it involves a boat 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-alchohol 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)

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. Jail and probation must not exceed 1 year combined.
  • Mandatory 50 hours of community service or additional $10 fine for each hour of community service required
  • Boat impoundment for 10 days

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 (Misdemeanor if more than 10 years since past conviction)
  • 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. Max 12 months jail for 3rd BUI/DUI conviction that occurs more than 10 years since previous conviction.
  • Probation: Mandatory monthly reporting and mandatory attendance at a substance abuse course.
  • Boat impoundment for 90 days

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.

My Approach To Defending Your Miami BUI Case 

My practice is exclusively devoted to DUI and BUI defense in Miami, FL. I limit how many cases I take on a monthly basis usually averaging between 2-4 cases and I don’t handle cases outside of Miami. Every case I take is prepared as if trial is the ultimate destination. I pore over all the evidence and analyze every single fact to determine the strength and weakness of your case. I will personally handle every aspect of your case. 

When you retain me as your Miami BUI 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 Miami please contact me directly so that I may answer any questions you have and provide you with a free case evaluation. My practice focuses on DUI defense in Miami. Let’s talk about your case and what defenses it might have.