BUI Causing Property Damage or Injury
An ice cold beer on a hot Florida day on the water can be a beautiful thing! As a boater you know that there is no better feeling than being away from work and in your boat on the water. But along with the joys of boating come risks as well. Unfortunately, not everyone is safe. Often there is too much drinking and boaters who operate their watercraft at full-throttle when the waters are crowded with other boaters, kayaks, canoes, jet skiers, and swimmers. And, unlike cars, boats have no brakes and can’t stop quickly. As a result, even minor boat accidents can cause serious injury or death. This is why penalties are so severe for operators who are BUI and cause property damage, serious injury or death.
Is Drinking and Boating a Crime?
It is not illegal to operate a boat with an open beer in your console and a 6-packin your cooler. But if you are deemed to operating your watercraft while impaired, you can be arrested and charged with BUI.
Under Florida BUI law, a BUI does not affect your Florida Driver’s License, but it does affect your speedboat, fishing boat or personal watercraft (Jet Ski), and your watercraft can be impounded. Causing serious injury while boating under the influence is a serious felony; causing the death of another is considered BUI Manslaughter.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI), Can Be a Federal Offense
It is not against the law to drink while operating a boat. But you can be charged with BUI if:
- your blood-alcohol level is .08, or
- if you are too impaired to handle your boat or personal watercraft safely.
The Coast Guard also enforces a federal law that prohibits BUI. Effective January 13, 1988, boating under the influence (BUI) became a specific federal offense. Boating under the influence arrests made off the U.S. shorelines of Florida are under the jurisdiction of federal authorities.
Individuals charged with BUI in Florida, under either state or federal law, face stiff punishments and minimum mandatory sentences which can include jail time, fines, boat impoundment and forfeiture, community service requirements, and the loss of your Florida Driver’sLicense.
Enforcement of BUI Laws; Property Damage and Injury
The penalties escalate for:
- BUI causing serious bodily injury, 3rd degree felony (up to 5 years in jail, $5000 fine)
- Repeat offenses (prior BUI or DUI)
- BAC of .15 or greater
- BUI with children or youths under age 18 aboard
- BUI causing property damage; 1st degree misdemeanor (up to 1 year in jail, $1000 fine)
Other Boating Offenses
- Reckless boating
- Boating in unregistered vessel
- Equipment violations
- Boating in unauthorized waters
- No-wake zone and right-of-way violations
These offenses have steep fines and forfeiture of boating privileges and serious or repeat offenses can result in a jail sentence. It’s very important to understand the consequences before you pay a fine or plead guilty to any offense.
Experienced and Aggressive Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer
Florida Criminal Defense lawyer Richard G. Salzman will work every angle to get your BUI case dismissed or reduced to a lesser citation to avoid the harsh sanctions of a BUI conviction.
The Florida DUI Defense Law Offices of Richard G. Salzman, P.A. handles BUI, BWI, Drunk Boating, BUI Manslaughter, and all vessel or watercraft related offenses including Vessel Homicide. If you have been charged with Boating Under the Influence in South Florida and are in need of personalized representation, The Florida DUI Defense Law Offices of Richard G. Salzman, P.A. can offer the BUI defense you deserve. Our firm offers years of experience in successfully defending criminal cases throughout South Florida.
The Florida DUI Defense Law Offices of Richard G. Salzman, P.A. is a well-respected, full service, highly qualified and professional Florida Criminal Defense Law firm located in Hollywood, Florida with a Regional office in Naples, Florida. Richard G. Salzman is dedicated to the aggressive representation and defense of those accused of Boating Under the Influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The Florida DUI Defense Law Offices of Richard G. Salzman, P.A. is committed to provide you with the vigorous BUI defense you need. We will aggressively analyze, review and address all of the legal, factual, and scientific issues and defenses that may arise in your case.
When you retain The Florida DUI Defense Law Firm of Richard G. Salzman, P.A., you can be assured that The Florida DUI Defense Law Firm of Richard G. Salzman, P.A. will not only defend your rights, but will help to guide you through the confusing and stressful criminal process. If you were cited for any offense on the water, contact The Florida DUI Defense Law Firm of Richard G. Salzman, P.A. today to discuss your case.
Right Now, Can There Be Anything More Important Than Your Freedom?
Contact Richard G. Salzman to set up a meeting to discuss your charges and evaluate your case. Mr. Salzman’s first priority is helping you avoid a BUI conviction that can ruin your life!
For your FREE initial case evaluation by phone, Call 855-DUI-GONE(855-384-4663), home of South Florida’s Premier BUI and DUI Defense Law Firm. Learn how Mr. Salzman can help save your freedom.
Richard G. Salzman, Esq.
Law Offices of Richard G. Salzman, P.A.
4340 Sheridan Street, Suite102
Hollywood, FL 33021
5621 Strand Blvd., Suite 101
Naples, FL 34110