Boating under the influence is a violation of Florida law 327.35. There are a few different ways to be a drunk boater in Florida. First, you can operate a boat while alcohol or a controlled substance impairs your normal faculties. Second, you can operate a boat with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more grams per 210 liters of breath or 100 milliliters of blood.
When you speak with a Florida BUI defense attorney, expect to hear that drunk boating is a serious offense. For a first offense, you can expect to pay a fine of up to $1,000 and spend up to six months in jail. If it's your second offense, you can pay up to $2,000 and spend up to nine months in jail.
If you commit 3 drunk boating offenses within 10 years, you face felony charges. When it's your fourth offense, the time between offenses doesn't matter. In that case, you face felony charges no matter what.
In cases where a person is hurt or killed, a drunk boating defendant can face serious, enhanced penalties. Property damage can bring other charging enhancements in a drunk boating case. In addition, if you have a very high alcohol level when you're arrested, there are additional penalties for that, too. The court can impound your boat and place you on probation. Of course, all of this comes with additional fees on top of regular fees.
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A boating under the influence charge in Florida can have a lasting effect on your employment, your finances and even your freedom. You can have a criminal record for the rest of your life. Of course, a criminal conviction can have consequences in civil court too, so it's very important to defend yourself aggressively with a Florida BUI defense attorney at every step of the way. At Musca Law, we help clients every day aggressively defend their rights in Florida courtrooms.
If you're facing a BUI charge or any criminal charge in Florida, we invite you to contact our offices. Our team of attorneys at Musca Law can help you explore all of your options to defend yourself to the fullest extent of the law. We look forward to hearing from you.