Under Florida state law, it is illegal to drive or operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A person is considered too drunk to operate a boat when his/her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0.08% or higher. In cases where the driver of the boat is under the age of 21, he/she may not lawfully operate the boat if his/her BAC level exceeds 0.02%. If law enforcement suspects a person is boating under the influence (BUI) of drugs or alcohol, they have the right to stop the driver and test his/her BAC level, either through a series of field sobriety tests, or with a breathalyzer machine or other type of chemical test.
When people operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their balance, vision, coordination, good judgment, focus, and level of alertness is jeopardized. Factors inherent to boating, such as wind, sun, splashing water, vibration, engine noise, and the boat’s natural movement in the water, can intensify the effect of drugs or alcohol in the body. That’s why even taking a lawful dose of prescription or over-the-counter medication before driving a boat can result in serious consequences. Furthermore, the mere fact that people don’t practice boating on a daily basis increases their chances of getting into an accident.
In Florida, boating under the influence is illegal on all lakes and rivers, as well as in the ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Depending on where the BUI incident occurred will determine how the case will be handled. When a person is found boating under the influence on the U.S. shoreline, federal BUI laws will be applied. Regardless of whether the BUI incident occurred in state or federal territory, people charged with BUI face multiple legal penalties, such as probation, jail sentences, heavy monetary fines, community service, alcohol treatment programs, boat impoundment, and the loss of the right to drive a boat in the future. In addition, a BUI conviction may also negatively impact your driver’s license privileges as well.
Contact Ft. Pierce BUI Attorney
If you have been charged with boating under the influence, you must contact an experienced attorney immediately. Ft. Pierce BUI Attorney Jerry Roden devotes his entire practice to helping clients throughout the Treasure Coast and Space Coast fight their BUI charges. Mr. Roden is extremely knowledgeable in this area of the law, and utilizes cutting-edge defense strategies in an attempt to obtain successful results in court. When Mr. Roden commits to a case, his clients receive viable options, aggressive representation, compelling defense, and unwavering dedication. Furthermore, Mr. Roden is dedicated to protecting his clients’ best interest, and making sure justice is served.
If you or your loved one is in need of a Ft. Pierce, Treasure Coast or Space Coast BUI defense attorney, contact Jerry Roden today! Mr. Roden also represents clients in St. Lucie County, Martin County, Indian River County and Brevard County.