The year 2015 saw the highest number of boating injuries in Florida in the past five years, at 438 total injuries. Though the number of boating fatalities was down last year – at just 55 compared to 73 in 2014 – Florida is leading the nation in the number of deaths by boating. The primary causes of Florida boating accidents includes:
- Collision with vessel;
- Collision with fixed object;
- Falls on PWC;
- Falls overboard; and
Alcohol played a role in nearly 20 percent of all Florida boating accidents.
If you were recently charged with boating under the influence in Florida, and if your alcohol use caused an accident, you need to contact a Florida BUI attorney right away. At Musca Law, our legal team can help you craft a strong defense to your BUI charges. By evaluating the circumstances of your case, we may be able to reduce your charges, or even get them dropped entirely.
Your Responsibilities As a Boat Operator in Florida
As a boat operator in Florida, you have just as much responsibility to the boaters around you as you do to drivers on the road, or pedestrians in the street. By accepting the responsibility of boat operator, you simultaneously agree to not act in a negligent, dangerous, or careless manner. Boating under the influence is negligent, dangerous, and careless all at once.
If you were arrested after your accident for consuming alcohol while operating a personal water vessel, you may be in serious trouble. To avoid being charged with a BUI and the consequences of a BUI conviction, there are a couple of things you may wish to do:
- Contact a boating under the influence criminal defense attorney right away; and
- Do not incriminate yourself by apologizing for any injuries accrued, do not apologize for causing the accident, and do not make any other incriminating statements. If possible, remain silent until your attorney is present, and only speak about the accident once you have discussed with them what to say.
Punishment for a BUI Conviction
If you are convicted of causing an accident while boating under the influence, you face the possible penalties a number of penalties as detailed by Florida Statutes 327.35. To be sure, for a first violation you may face a fine of between $500 and $1,000 and imprisonment for six months; for a second violation, you may face a fine of $1,000 and $2,000 and imprisonment for nine months; and you may face greater penalties for additional offenses, including higher fines, longer periods of imprisonment, and vehicle impoundment.
Protect Yourself and Hire a Florida BUI Defense Lawyer
At Musca Law, our boating under the influence defense attorneys advocate for individuals who have been convicted or charged with boating under the influence. A BUI conviction can severely affect your life—especially if your actions resulted in an accident and injuries. To ensure the best possible outcome to your BUI case, contact our boating under the influence defense attorneys today at (800) 687-2252 to learn more about how we can help you.