BUI Provisions and Penalties

Under Florida Statutes Section 327.35, Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is illegal in Florida.

At trial, the State may prove BUI in one of two ways:

  1. When the person who operated a boat within the State of Florida is under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a chemical substance when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired; or
  2. When the person has a blood-alcohol level (BAL) of 0.08 or Breath Alcohol Level is .08% or more.

The sentence can be enhanced if the boat’s operator has previously been convicted of BUI or DUI or any other similar alcohol-related or drug-related offense) in any state.

Any conviction for BUI would include probation with a special condition that the defendant does the following:

  • completes a substance abuse course;
  • undergo a substance abuse evaluation and any recommended follow-up treatment; and
  • perform at least 50 hours of community service; and
  • immobilize the boat or vessel for at least ten (10) days.

The penalties for BUI are:

Offense

Penalty

Fine

Imprisonment

1st conviction

Misdemeanor

≥ $500 ≤ $1,000

up to 6 months

2nd conviction

Misdemeanor

≥ $1,000 ≤ $2,000

up to 9 months

3rd conviction > 10 years after prior conviction

Misdemeanor

≥ $2,000 ≤ $5,000

up to 12 months

3rd conviction ≤ 10 years after prior conviction

3rd degree felony

≥ $2,000 ≤ $5,000

up to 5 years

4th or subsequent conviction

3rd degree felony

≥ $2,000 ≤ $5,000

up to 5 years

.02 Legal Limit for Boating Under 21 Years Old

Persons under the age of 21 the legal limit is .02%.

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