Jacksonville Boating Under the Influence Defense Lawyers
If you've been arrested for Boating Under the Influence (BUI) in Jacksonville, Florida, you may face serious misdemeanor or felony criminal charges. Boating under the influence laws are very similar to Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws. Like DUI, the breath/blood alcohol content at which impairment is presumed is 0.08, unless you are under the age of 21 and then the content is only 0.02. You can be arrested for BUI even if the engine is not running, and sitting in the driver's seat while intoxicated is sufficient even if the keys are not in the ignition. In Florida, you can be arrested for BUI as long as you have actual physical control of the vessel. Unlike a vehicle on the road involved in a DUI arrest, boats may be legally stopped and boarded by an officer merely for the purpose of enforcing registration, safety and fishing law. Probable cause from a civil infraction or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity is not required.
Florida treats the crime of BUI very similar to that of DUI in that each type of crime has enhanced penalties depending on the circumstances. Also, each crime counts as a prior conviction for the other, which enhances penalties. Unlike a DUI, when arrested for a BUI, you do not lose your driver's license for a refusal to submit to a urine, breath, or blood test. Instead it results in a $500.00 fine. There are many defenses to a BUI, such as spending a long day out in the sun and on the water, which can cause red eyes, a wobbly gait, and lightheadedness from dehydration and not by intoxication. Your performance on field sobriety exercises can also be affected by being out under the sun and heat all day.
At Arnold Law Firm, we practice not just the science of lawyering, but the art of being a lawyer. We believe in close, productive relationships and communication with our clients who are arrested and charged in Florida state or federal courts. Contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys for a 30-minute, free consultation today.