The Southwest Florida region (including Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda) is known for being one of the best areas in the country for boating and fishing.
Many residents enjoy boating and fishing and many vacationers in the area also like to take advantage of the fantastic boating and fishing opportunities. While fishing and drinking are often seen to go hand in hand drivers of boats are held to the same standard as drivers of cars. A person operating a boat who has a blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of above .08 can be convicted of boating under the influence (or BUI).
Florida Statute 327.35 mandates the following punishments for BUI convictions:
- BUI First Offense: Up to six months in jail and a fine of no less than $500 and no more than $1000.
- BUI Second Offense: Up to nine months in jail and a fine of no less than $1000 and no more than $2000.
- BUI Third Offense Outside of Ten Years: BUI Third Offense Outside of Ten Years means you have been convicted of your third DUI but your most recent BUI conviction before this conviction was more than ten years ago. Any person convicted of BUI Third Offense Outside of Ten Years can be punished by up to one year in jail and a fine of no less than $2,000 and no more than $5,000.
- BUI Third Offense Within Ten Years: BUI Third Offense Within Ten Years means you have been convicted of your third BUI and your most recent BUI conviction before this conviction was less than ten years ago. BUI Third Offense Within Ten Years is a third degree felony. Any person convicted of BUI Third Offense Within Ten Years can be punished by up to five years in prison and a convicted felon designation with the loss of rights that are associated with all felony conviction (such as voting priviledges and firearm ownership rights).
The State of Florida leads the nation in the amount of yearly boating deaths that occur. If you take all of the recreational boating deaths that occur each year, 1/3 of those boating deaths involve alcohol use. The State of Florida also has the second highest amount of boating related accidents in the Country. Because of facts like these Police Officers in the State of Florida take a hyper vigilant stance on BUI which may lead to your arrest for BUI even though you weren’t intoxicated.
The Criminal Defense Lawyers at Viacava & Cantor are Southwest Florida attorneys who understand BUI’s. If you have been arrested for BUI in Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Port Charlotte or Punta Gorda contact a Criminal Defense Attorney from Viacava & Cantor today for a free consultation to discuss the specific facts of your case at 239-672-8934 (Fort Myers) or 941-388-7810 (Sarasota).