With 1,350 miles of general coastline*, and ranking second
only to Alaska in shoreline length, Florida is a boater’s paradise. If you
include the mileage from outer coast, offshore islands, sounds, bays, rivers,
and creeks, Florida offers an additional 8,436 miles* for boaters – and you
don’t need a license to operate a recreational craft.
That’s the great thing about living in Florida.
What’s not so great is that Florida also leads the nation in
annual number of boating deaths, including both seasoned boaters and the
thousands of tourists that flock to our waterways every year. Alcohol, excessive speed, inattention, and inexperience are the four most prominent causes of fatal
accidents. Unfortunately, these are usually present in combinations that all
but guarantee a tragic boating accident.
You may not know that Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
carries most of the same penalties as Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The
same Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 in Florida for a driver 21 or over will
result in BUI charges. Don’t let underage drinkers drink, either. Their BAC
only has to be .02 to be illegal. The U.S. Coast Guard can pull you over and
board at any time, for any reason. Don’t resist. The Coast Guard is responsible
for the safety of your boat, as well as those around you. They can inspect you,
or the vessel, without seeing you do anything wrong.
If you refuse to submit to any sobriety tests, you will be
subject to a minimum $500 and 50 hours of community service. An arrest for boating BUI in Florida can lead
to a criminal record, probation, possible incarceration, fines, court costs,
community service, alcohol courses, and your boat being impounded.
If you are pulled over, in control of the boat, and are
charged with a BUI, whether “native” or tourist, you need an experienced and
tenacious Daytona Beach criminal defense
attorney to represent you. For tourists, this means you may not have to come back to
appear in court.
You can’t afford to be convicted of a BUI. Don’t go this
alone. Let’s talk about your case. Call me as soon as possible at (386) 947-0909
for the best criminal legal representation you can find in Central Florida.
*US Coast Guard 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics