Daytona Beach is a boater’s paradise, especially during the warm summer months. But since many boat operators and passengers often enjoy the water activity while consuming alcohol, boating under the influence (BUI) is a serious crime in Florida since intoxication can lead to accidents, injuries, and death.
Just like a DUI, if a person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher while operating a vessel or watercraft, he/she can be convicted of BUI in Florida. The penalties upon conviction depend on several factors, including the BAC level at the time of arrest, any previous BUI or DUI convictions, minors in the vessel at the time of arrest, and any accident, injury, or death at the time of the arrest.
A first-time BUI offense is typically considered a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. If a boat operator had a BAC of at least .15 or a minor passenger on the vessel, the maximum jail sentence increases to nine months and fines amounting to $2,000.
If a first-time BUI arrest involves an accident or minor injuries, the boat operator can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum one-year jail term and a fine not exceeding $1,000. If a first-time BUI arrest involves serious injury, the charge is a third-degree felony, which results in a prison sentence of up to five years and a maximum $5,000 fine.
If a first-time BUI arrest involves a death, the charge can be either a first- or second-degree felony. A first-degree felony is punishable by a maximum 30-year prison sentence, while a second-degree felony carries a maximum 15-year prison term. Both also result in fines of up to $10,000 upon conviction.
If you have been arrested for BUI in Daytona Beach, contact Buckmaster & Ellzey today at (888) 785-6548 and schedule an initial consultation.