Boating Under the Influence

Like Driving Under the Influence in a vehicle, it is a misdemeanor for one to operate a vessel while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired. It is also a crime to operate a vessel if an individual’s blood alcohol level is .08 or above. Much like a DUI, a first time BUI is a sort of hybrid misdemeanor with penalties not fitting neatly into the typical first degree or second-degree misdemeanor packaging. For a standard first offense BUI an individual is subject to a fine between $500 and $1000 and for imprisonment of no more than 6 months. Should an individual with a first time BUI receive a probation sentence they would be subject to no more than 12 months of restriction. The Tampa Bay area is blessed to have an abundance of beautiful water for boaters to enjoy their vessels and often the alcoholic beverages that seem to make their boating outing more fun. Often the Florida Wildlife Commission or local Sheriff’s offices make arrests of those individuals they deem to be impaired boaters. The attorneys in our firm have worked both as prosecutors and defense attorneys near the water our entire career and have a vast amount of experience defending those accused of boating under the influence. Call Jason Mayberry today and allow him to put his expertise to work for your.

Though BUI penalties will vary depending on an individual’s prior history and the severity of the BUI, below is a chart depicting possible penalties for boating under the influence in Tampa.

  1. First Offense
    1. Jail sentence up to 6 months
    2. Fine of $500 to $1000
    3. Possible 12 months probation
    4. Minimum of 50 Public Service Hours
    5. 10 day vessel impound not concurrent with incarceration of defendant
    6. substance abuse evaluation and any necessary treatment
  2. First Offense with BAL above .15
    1. Jail sentence up to 9 months
    2. Fine of $1000 to $2000
    3. Possible 12 months probation
    4. Likely increase in Public Service Hours over the normal 50
    5. 10 day vessel impound not concurrent with incarceration of defendant
    6. substance abuse evaluation and any necessary treatment
  3. First Offense with Serious Bodily Injury (Third Degree Felony)
    1. Prison up to 5 years in Florida Department of Corrections
    2. Additional penalties found in other less serious boating under the influence charges
  4. Second Offense within 5 years
    1. Mandatory 10 days county jail. Jail sentence could be up to 9 months or up to 12 months if blood alcohol level above .15
    2. Fine of $1000 to $2000 or $2000 to $4000 if blood alcohol level above .15
    3. 30 day vessel impound not concurrent with incarceration of defendant
  5. Third Offense within 10 years (Third Degree Felony)
    1. Mandatory 30 days county jail
    2. Fine up to $5000 but not less than $2000 (Fine not less than $4000 if BAL above .15)
    3. 90 day vessel impound not concurrent with incarceration of defendant
    4. Fourth Offense (Third Degree Felony)
    5. Prison up to 5 years in Florida Department of Corrections
    6. Fine not less than $2000 and up to $5000 (Fine not less than $4000 if BAL above .15)
    7. Mandatory 30 days county jail
    8. 90 day vessel impound not concurrent with incarceration of defendant

As with any crime, the penalties a prosecutor seeks can depend on many variables. If you’ve been charged with Boating Under the Influence in Tampa, contact Tampa BUI attorney Jason Mayberry today at 813-444-7435 or at 727-771-3847 and allow our experience to help you.