DUI Attorney Orlando

Were you out, enjoying yourself on a boat? Were you drinking while boating? If you were the operator of the boat, you may be charged with drunk driving while boating. Boating under the influence (BUI) is a crime in Florida. If you have been pulled over by an officer for suspicion of BUI and have been formally charged, it is time to seek immediate criminal defense help.

Drinking And Boating Charges In Orlando

Lakes and channels in central Florida are very popular boating destinations for both residents and tourists. Especially during the spring and summer holidays, boaters are out in full force, enjoying the Conway and Butler Chain of Lakes, east on the St. John's River as well as The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). If you have been cited for BUI on any of these or other bodies of water, we can help. Our firm offers a free case review so you can come in or call to have your case evaluated by a member of our skilled legal team. We can determine the best way in which to approach your defense and use our strategy planning tool to begin structuring your case.

The Challenge Of A BUI Charge

In Florida, you can be convicted of a BUI if your blood alcohol is found to be above the legal limit of .08. If you have been charged with a BUI, it is critical that you seek experienced criminal defense representation.

  • There are serious criminal penalties if convicted, especially if you were involved in an accident that caused serious bodily harm, injury or even death of another person.
  • What makes BUI charges especially difficult compared to a DUI/DWI charge is that an officer can board a person's boat without any reasonable suspicion (in contrast to a DUI/DWI in which the officer must have reasonable suspicion to pull a motor vehicle over).
  • Even if you have not had very much to drink or nothing to drink at all, dehydration, fatigue and other conditions after boating all day can make you appear to be under the influence.
  • With so much at stake, it is important that you make sure your attorney is knowledgeable and skilled with BUI defense cases.

Penalties for BUI in Orlando

The penalties for a conviction on a BUI charge increase depending on if you are a first-time offender or not, whether there was a minor in the boat, and what your blood alcohol level (BAL) was:

First conviction:

  • Up to $1,000 fine (no less than $500)
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Mandatory probation up to one year
  • Mandatory attendance at an alcohol education/substance abuse class
  • Up to 50 hours of mandatory community service, as well as $10 fine for each hour
  • Boat impounded for 10 days

First conviction with a minor in the boat or BAL of .15 or higher:

  • Up to $4,000 fine (no less than $2,000)
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Mandatory probation up to one year
  • Mandatory attendance at an alcohol education/substance abuse class
  • Up to 50 hours of mandatory community service, as well as $10 fine for each hour
  • Boat impounded for 10 days

Second conviction:

  • Up to $2,000 fine (no less than 1,000)
  • Up to nine months in jail (mandatory minimum of 10 days if the second conviction is within five years of the first)
  • Mandatory probation up to one year
  • Mandatory attendance at an alcohol education/substance abuse class
  • Boat impounded for 30 days

Second conviction with a minor in the boat or BAL of .15 or higher:

  • Up to $2,000 fine (no less than $1,000)
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Mandatory probation up to one year
  • Mandatory attendance at an alcohol education/substance abuse class
  • Boat impounded for 30 days

Third conviction (or subsequent):

  • Third-degree felony charge if within 10 years of the last conviction
  • Misdemeanor if more than 10 years has passed since the last conviction
  • Up to $5,000 fine (no less than $2,000)
  • Minimum 30 days in jail, up to one year in jail
  • Mandatory probation up to one year
  • Mandatory attendance at an alcohol education/substance abuse class
  • Boat impounded for 90 days

Third conviction (or subsequent) with a minor in the boat or BAL of .15 or higher:

  • Third-degree felony charge if within 10 years of the last conviction
  • Misdemeanor if more than 10 years has passed since the last conviction
  • No less than $4,000
  • Minimum 30 days in jail, up to one year in jail
  • Mandatory probation up to one year
  • Mandatory attendance at an alcohol education/substance abuse class
  • Boat impounded for 90 days

Contact an Orlando, Florida BUI Defense Lawyers

At The Umansky Law Firm, our DUI lawyers also have extensive experience in BUIs and are former prosecutors with unique insite into the prosecutions strategy. We are available day or night, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have been involved in a boating accident and alcohol may have been involved.

Call us today at 407-228-3838 and we'll set up an appointment to look over your case.

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