Boating Under the Influence and Labor Day

Labor Day is fast approaching. Central Floridians will be out on their boats on the Conway and Butler chain of lakes and further east on the St. John’s river and the intracoastal. Please make sure you keep safe as alcohol is the number one cause of death in boating accidents last year.

Unlike a DUI case, where police need a reason to stop your car, police on the water can board your boat without reasonable suspicion that a law violation has happened. Orange County Sheriff and Volusia County Sheriff deputies take boating under the influence very seriously and will board boats to make sure operators are not intoxicated.

If you are charged or arrested for BUI you can face alcohol counseling, classes, community service hours, and impoundment of your vessel. If a serious bodily injury or death is involved, prison or jail are potential sentences.

Many boaters like to have a drink or two while out on the water but the sun, dehydration, sea sickness and other environmental factors could influence a police officer to think you are under the influence of alcohol.

Better to be safe than sorry. If you plan on drinking, make sure you have a designated driver. Most importantly have fun and stay safe!