Anyone who goes on a boat should be aware of the crime BUI — Boating Under the Influence. Living in South Florida has its advantages, including boating out on the water on a beautiful sunny day. People often times equate boating with having a couple drinks and that there is nothing to worry about because they are out on the water. This is not the case. The BUI standard is the exact same as the DUI standard.
It is not per se illegal to have a couple of drinks and captain a boat. However, it is illegal to captain a boat while under the influence to the extent your normal faculties are impaired or have a BAC of greater than .08. As stated above, this is the same standard as a DUI.
Although the legal standards for BUIs and DUIs are the same, there are some differences between the two. One difference is that out on a boat the police or coast guard can stop your boat at anytime for a safety check. This is in stark contrast to a DUI where the police cannot just pull your car over under the guise of a safety check.
Another main difference between a BUI and a DUI is the penalties for refusing to provide a breath sample. Under the DUI law refusing a breath sample can result in a suspension of driver’s license or possibly even a misdemeanor criminal charge. Under the BUI law the refusal of a breath sample can result in a civil penalty of $500.00.
If you have any questions regarding BUIs or know of anyone arrested for a BUI, call our main office in West Palm Beach at (561) 349-4856.