Title: Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Defense in Florida: Protecting Your Rights on the Water
Florida’s picturesque coastline and numerous waterways make it a popular destination for boating enthusiasts. However, it is important to remember that operating a boat while under the influence (BUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal and can lead to serious consequences. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of defending against Boating Under the Influence (BUI) charges in Florida, helping you understand your rights and potential defense strategies. If you are charged with a BUI (Florida Statutes Section 327.35), it is important to hire a skilled maritime criminal defense lawyer to discuss your Boating under the Influence BUI defense in Florida.
Understanding Boating Under the Influence (BUI) in Florida
Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is a criminal offense that occurs when an individual operates a vessel while their normal faculties are impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. In Florida, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for operating a vessel is 0.08%, the same as for driving a motor vehicle.
Penalties for BUI in Florida
The penalties for a BUI conviction in Florida can be severe and may include fines, probation, community service, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even imprisonment. The consequences can be enhanced if it is a repeat offense or if the BUI incident resulted in property damage, injury, or death.
Defenses against BUI Charges in Florida
When facing BUI charges in Florida, it is crucial to remember that you have the right to a defense. Here are some common defenses that can be used in defending against BUI cases:
- Lack of Probable Cause: Law enforcement officers must have a valid reason to stop and board your vessel. If there was no probable cause, such as a violation of navigational rules or a safety concern, the stop may be deemed unlawful, and any evidence obtained subsequently may be inadmissible.
- Inaccurate Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs): Field sobriety tests conducted on the water can be affected by environmental factors, such as waves, wind, and boat motion, which can lead to inaccurate results. Additionally, these tests rely on subjective observations by the arresting officer and can be challenged on the basis of their reliability.
- Faulty Breathalyzer or Chemical Testing: Breathalyzer or chemical testing devices used to measure blood alcohol content must be properly maintained, calibrated, and administered according to established protocols. Any deviation from these standards could result in inaccurate readings and can be challenged in court before and during a BUI trial.
- Medical Conditions or Fatigue: Certain medical conditions or fatigue can mimic the symptoms of impairment, such as slurred speech or unsteady balance. If you can demonstrate that your behavior was a result of a medical condition or exhaustion rather than alcohol or drug use, it may serve as a BUI defense.
- Miranda Rights Violation: If you were not properly advised of your Miranda rights during the arrest, any statements you made may be suppressed as evidence in court. It is essential to consult with an attorney to assess whether your rights were violated during the arrest.
Working with a Florida BUI Defense Attorney
Navigating a BUI case in Florida can be complex, and the consequences of a conviction can be significant. Therefore, it is highly recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced Florida defense attorney specializing in BUI cases. A skilled attorney will thoroughly evaluate the evidence against you, identify any procedural errors, and build a strong BUI defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI) charges in Florida should never be taken lightly. Understanding your rights and potential Boating under the Influence defense strategies is crucial when facing these allegations. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is vital to consult with a qualified BUI defense attorney who can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and work
towards the best possible outcome. Remember, a strong BUI defense can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case and help.
Our Florida criminal attorney, Christian Van Riper, was a former DUI and BUI prosecutor. He is also a passionate boater. Christian knows BUI defense law and works hard at defending his clients charged with Boating under the Influence. He has represented clients arrested by multiple agencies, including Palm Beach County Sheriff, Martin County Sheriffs, St. Lucie County Sheriffs, Broward County Sheriffs, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and others.
Call Christian day or night. Christian is available to meet on the telephone, by video and at any of our Florida criminal defense offices in Stuart, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach. Christian does not charge a consultation fee. Contact Christian before contacting a bail bondsman. He may be able to convince the criminal court judge to reduce your bond if you are not released on your own recognizance.
West Palm Beach Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Criminal Defense Lawyers: 561-948-5588
Stuart and Port St. Lucie Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Criminal Defense Lawyers: 772-283-8712
Broward County Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Criminal Defense Attorneys: 954-369-0776