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Boating Under the Influence Defense Attorney


Fagnano Law, P.A. aggressively represents individuals who have been charged with Florida’s boating under the influence (“BUI”) laws. Whether they’re fishing, waterskiing, or just enjoying the sun many residents and tourists who take to the Florida waters around Tequesta, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Park, North Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, and Boca Raton enjoy a few beers or cocktails while on the water. But the law enforcement officers who patrol the Intracoastal, the Loxahatchee River, and the Atlantic shoreline are very vigilant when it comes to detecting and arresting impaired boat operators. If you’ve been arrested for BUI in the waters around the Treasure Coast, contact the Fagnano Law, P.A. at their West Palm Beach office.

Boating Under the Influence in the State of Florida

Unfortunately, the state of Florida leads the nation in boating accident fatalities, and it is estimated that about half of those incidents involve the use of alcohol. The BUI legal alcohol limits are similar to those outlined in Florida’s DUI statute. For adults over twenty-one the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limit is .08. For juveniles and adults under the age of twenty-one, BUI can be charged with a BAC of .02 or higher. BUI investigations mirror DUI investigations in that they follow the same standardized steps:

  • Probable cause to stop the boat
  • Observation of physical indicators of intoxication (bloodshot eyes, odor of an alcoholic beverage, et cetera)
  • Field sobriety exercises (usually performed on shore)
  • Reading of the implied consent warning

It should be noted that there is also a federal BUI charge that is enforced by the United States Coast Guard. The boating under the influence cases that we typically see around Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, and and Miami-Dade counties stem from stops conducted by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Aquatic Unit, or the water units of local police agencies.

Professional Criminal Defense Lawyer of South Florida

Boating under the influence in Florida is a misdemeanor crime that can result in jail, fines, probation, suspension of licensing, and criminal record. The attorneys of the Fagnano Law, P.A. represent those accused of BUI in the waters in and around the Treasure Coast. Contact our West Palm Beach office at 561-440-1528.