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  • Writer's pictureAttorney Joseph Soler

Boating Under the Influence

While most are familiar with driving under the influence charges (DUI) in Florida, a person can also be charged with "boating under the influence" or BUI. A favorite past time in Florida is going out on the open waters and enjoying time with friends and family on a boat. Alcohol is often accompanied on these trips. While it is not illegal to drink while on a boat, it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol.

The standards are the same for DUI and BUI. Cops, usually members of the Florida Wildlife Commission, will stop your boat and speak with you about what you have had to drink. They will note signs of impairment such as glassy, watery eyes, odor of alcohol, and slurred speech. If they suspect you may be under the influence, they will likely ask you to take your boat to the nearest dock or dry land and request you to perform field sobriety exercises. The threshold for breath alcohol content, like a DUI, is .08.

The consequences of being convicted of a BUI are similar to those for DUI. You will typically be required to attend a DUI class, a victim impact panel, pay a fine, and do community service hours. A BUI, however, does not suspend your driver's license like a DUI does.

The DUI defense attorneys at Soler & Simon have extensive experience with alcohol related criminal charges, including BUI's and DUI's. Contact us today for a free consultation and case analysis. Also visit our Driving Under The Influence page to learn more about DUI's and how we fight them in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

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