Orlando Boating Under the Influence Attorney

Under the Influence 

While boating is certainly a favorite pastime for Floridians and those vacationing in Florida, being charged with boating under the influence is something that should never be taken lightly. Like DUI in which a motorist is suspected of operating a vehicle when impaired by alcohol or drugs, boating while under the influence will leave those convicted facing serious and even life-changing criminal penalties. At Adams & Luka, our Orlando DUI defense lawyers understand the uncertainty you feel and the fear of not knowing what is ahead. We work vigorously on behalf of our clients, always focusing on protecting your legal rights and obtaining the best results possible.

Boating under the influence, or "BUI," is not uncommon considering the number of people who enjoy getting out on a boat to fish, swim, ski, or just enjoy the beautiful weather. However, violation of Florida Statute §327.35 is a serious offense which could result in substantial fines, jail time, and more for those convicted. Whether your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is found to be above the state's legal limit of .08 or the results of a urine test indicate a substantial amount of drugs, it is vital you consult with a skilled and capable Orlando criminal defense lawyer right away.

Defense to Charges of Boating Under the Influence in Florida

Developing a solid, effective defense is critical in fighting charges of boating under the influence. Our BUI attorneys will thoroughly review your case in determining the best way to proceed, so that your freedom and legal rights are protected. Some of the most common defenses used to fight these types of charges include:

  • Testing equipment is not properly calibrated
  • Errors made by law enforcement in the arrest process
  • Illegal police stop
  • BAC testing incorrectly administered
  • Faulty testing unit resulted in false readings or results
  • Equipment used for testing has a history of errors

Police must follow proper procedure when making an arrest, and must have reasonable suspicion to stop you. While there is no one defense that covers all boating under the influence cases, a dedicated defense lawyer will closely examine the prosecutor's case for strengths and weaknesses, and advise the defendant of various legal options such as pleading guilty or no contest in circumstances where the evidence is solid. Ultimately, the goal is to have charges dismissed or reduced, or to obtain an acquittal at trial.

Criminal Penalties for Boating Under the Influence in Orlando & Central Florida

Similar to the penalties an individual will face if convicted of driving under the influence, a BUI conviction will result in serious penalties that vary depending on whether it is a first or subsequent conviction. Penalties may include:

  • First conviction - Maximum fines of $1,000, maximum jail time of six (6) months.
  • Second conviction - Maximum fines of $2,000, maximum jail time of nine (9) months.
  • Third conviction - Maximum fines of $5,000 when the conviction is outside of a ten-year period of past convictions, maximum of one (1) year in jail.
  • Fourth conviction - Minimum fines of $2,000, maximum of five (5) years in prison.

In situations where an individual's BAC is .15 or higher, fines and jail time increase. For a first offense, maximum fines are $2,000 and maximum jail time nine (9) months. For a second offense, maximum fines of $4,000 and maximum jail time of twelve (12) months.

It is also important to note that criminal penalties will increase significantly if another person is injured or killed in a boating accident involving BUI, or another individual's property damaged.

Contact Adams & Luka Today

It is not our job to judge those who have a drink while boating; we understand that boating is a pleasurable experience, and that people do enjoy a beer or a drink while boating on occasion. Our job is to protect your reputation, freedom, and legal rights. A criminal record could impact employment opportunities, a current career, obtaining housing, and much more. If you have been arrested for boating under the influence, take action immediately to avoid damage to your life and possible loss of your freedom. Call Adams & Luka now for a free consultation at (407) 872-0307 or(352) 787-2101.

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