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The abundant waterways in Florida offer many opportunities to enjoy fishing, waterskiing, and boating and other watersports. Operating a motorcraft requires responsibilities similar to operating a motor vehicle but there are important differences. While it is legal to consume alcohol while operating a water vessel, it is illegal to operate a water vessel while under the influence of alcohol. You can be convicted of Boating Under the Influence - BUI - if you are under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a chemical or controlled substance to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired or if you are proven to have a blood or breath-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher.

A police officer, deputy, or wildlife officer can stop a water vessel if operator is operating the vessel erratically, recklessly, or carelessly. The operator can be arrested on suspicion of BUI. As with a charge of DUI, there are multiple defenses that can be argued by an experienced Seminole County DUI / BUI attorney.

The vessel being operated during the BUI arrest is subject to vehicle impoundment, even if the owner is not the person charge with BUI. A Seminole County DUI / BUI attorney can help in the process of retrieving the vessel.

The implied consent for breath and urine tests after arrest for BUI differes from that of Driving Under the Influence in that there is no loss of license. If the arrest was legal, a $500 fine is imposed. A previous refusal to submit to testing can increase the penalty but the operator's license is not suspended. Blood tests can only be required if there is injury involved or if breath or urine tests are not feasible.


As in DUI, there may be grounds to challenge the results of breath, urine, or blood tests. It is important to consult with a Seminole County DUI attorney who has experience with Boating Under the Influence cases and can aggressively protect your rights and help you attain the best possible outcome.

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