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Spending time on the water? Have fun, but avoid a BUI charge

While most people are well aware of the term DUI -- which is short for "driving under the influence" -- many are less familiar with BUI. Otherwise known as "boating under the influence," BUI charges in Florida are quite serious, and like DUI charges, they can result in severe penalties.

In fact, the possible penalties include:

  • Fine of $500-$1,000 for the first offense, which increases to $1,000-$2,000 for the second offense
  • Jail time of up to six months for the first offense, and up to nine months for a second offense

And if you are convicted a third time within 10 years, or someone is injured, you can expect the penalties to increase significantly.

What exactly is a BUI?

Florida's legal limit for drivers of any type of boat is .08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or .08 grams per 210 liters of breath, the same as it is for people driving cars. If someone is found boating under the influence, he or she will face the penalties mentioned above, plus possible probation, community service and boat impoundment.

To avoid boating while intoxicated, consider the following tips:

  • Remove temptation by not storing alcohol on your boat. Instead, stock up on non-alcoholic drinks, such as lemonade, iced tea, soda and water.
  • Avoid fatigue by limiting your boating trip to a reasonable amount of time and bringing plenty of snacks.
  • If you drink alcohol on shore, have a designated driver for your boat or be sure to wait at least one hour per drink before operating it.

Boating under the influence is a serious offense. That is why it is better to plan ahead than to put yourself and others in a dangerous and illegal situation.

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Adam Chrzan, Attorney At Law
1443 20th St, Suite F
Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone: 772-410-3722
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