What is a BUI?

A BUI is boating under the influence.  Under Florida Statute 327.35 it is unlawful to command your vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol.   If you have a blood/breath alcohol

BUI - Boating Under the Influence

level of .08 or higher, or your boating to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired you can be found guilty of BUI.   A first offense is a misdemeanor.  A BUI can be a felony if it a third offense within 10 years.  In addition, it can be a felony if there is an accident involving serious injury or death.

A BUI is not the same as a DUI, but is very similar

The BUI statute is similar to the DUI statute 316.193 as to what the state has to prove.   Both offenses are misdemeanors for a first offense unless someone is injured in the offense. Both have increased penalties for subsequent convictions.   Both require probation and a BUI will require attendance at a substance abuse course. The court will also impound the vessel for 10 days similar to the DUI statute which requires a ten-day immobilization.

Does your driver’s license get suspended for a BUI?

Your driver’s license does not get suspended for refusing a blood, breath, or urine test.  However, you are subject to a civil penalty of $500.00.   A refusal can be used against you in court.  You can also challenge the refusal by requesting a hearing with the clerk of court within 30 days.

If you do not pay the civil penalty within 30 days and you do not request a hearing with the clerk, operating a vessel is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Penalties for a first BUI are:

  • $500 $1,000 fine;
  • Probation  and up to 6 months jail;
  • 50 community service hours;
  • 10 immobilization of the vessel;
  • Any other conditions the courts see fit.

Fight your BUI with an experienced BUI defense attorney

Our firm handles significant amounts of DUI/BUI  cases.  Take advantage of our years of experience handling these charges to get you the best possible outcome.