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
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.