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DUI Defense: BUI (Boating Under the Influence)

BUI Defense - Miami BUI Lawyers Miami and the South Florida area are a boater's paradise. However, law enforcement agencies and local state attorney offices view (BUI) boating under the influence as serious offense and vigorously prosecute these cases. The Miami DUI lawyers at DMT have a vast experience in defending this type of offense. The penalties are very similar to those that attach in DUI cases such as:
  • Probation
  • Community service hours
  • Alcohol or substance abuse classes
  • Vessel impoundment
These are just a few of the penalties that will be enforced in the event of a BUI conviction. Jail and prison time are a real possibility for repeat BUI offenders. It is important to hire a qualified and experienced BUI defense lawyer to defend the charge as the effects of a conviction for this offense can be overreaching and everlasting. An experienced BUI attorney has the requisite knowledge to have a BUI charge reduced or even dismissed.

Boating under the influence
Proving Fault in BUI Cases

To find someone guilty of boating under the influence (BUI), it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a person operated a vessel within the state while under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substance. To prove that an operator of a vessel is under the influence, the prosecution must prove that the operator's normal faculties were impaired or that the operator's blood-alcohol level or breath alcohol level exceeded .08.

First time Penalties: A first BUI conviction carries a fine of up to $1,000 and not more than 6 months in the county jail.

Second Offense: A second BUI conviction carries a fine of up to $2,000 and not more than 9 months in the county jail.

Third Offense: Anyone convicted of a third DUI within 10 years of a prior BUI conviction can be charged with a third degree felony punishable up to five years in prison. If the conviction occurs outside 10 years of the previous conviction a person can receive a fine up to $5,000 and up to a year in the county jail.

Fourth Offense: A fourth conviction for BUI is a felony regardless of when the previous BUI convictions occurred.

In addition the penalties mentioned above, a defendant convicted of BUI will be required to attend a substance abuse course, the costs of which shall be paid by the offender. Furthermore, the offender must have a psychological evaluation and treatment if deemed necessary. The offender will also be required to perform community service hours. The vessel involved in the BUI will be subject to impoundment or immobilization. Mandatory jail sentences may apply for subsequent BUI convictions depending on when the prior offenses occurred.

Understanding Florida BUI Manslaughter Charges

Far more serious than a standard BUI charge is the offense of BUI manslaughter. BUI manslaughter is a second degree felony punishable up to 15 years in prison. Like DUI manslaughter cases, the Florida sentencing guidelines allow for victim injury points above and beyond the standard guidelines in BUI manslaughter cases. The element of causation must be proven in BUI manslaughter cases which, simply put, means that the operation of the vessel caused or contributed to the death of the victim.

A BUI manslaughter charge can be elevated to a first degree felony punishable up to 30 years in prison if the operator of the vessel at the time of the accident knew or should have known that the accident occurred and that the operator failed to provide information or render aid as required under the Florida Statutes.

Call to Request a Free Initial Consultation Today

To speak with an experienced Miami DUI lawyer at the criminal defense law firm of DMT about your case or any other matter related to a BUI or BUI manslaughter arrest, please contact our office for a free consultation. You can contact our office at (305) 444-0030 or reach us by completing our contact form or by sending an e-mail.

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