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Boaters beware, Florida BUI laws

Every licensed driver knows and understands DUI laws. If you drink and drive, you could face serious fines, penalties and jail time. What many licensed drivers do not know is that Florida has drunk driving laws for boaters as well.

Boating under the influence laws give state and federal authorities the right to stop a boater on the suspicion of operating while intoxicated. Just as authorities stop and conduct roadside checks and sobriety tests, law enforcement can also perform these in the water. Each state has a specific set of BUI laws. In Florida, a boat operator with a BAC of 0.08 or higher is considered legally intoxicated and therefore, subject to arrest.

While a DUI can lead to license revocation and suspension, a BUI can also. A conviction for boating under the influence typically carries the same consequences as a DUI conviction. With many states focusing on BUI violations more than ever before, the penalties for boating under the influence usually mimic each state?s specific DUI penalties.

When stopped on suspicion of BUI, boat operators are usually asked to provide a blood test or breathalyzer to confirm intoxication. In some states, refusal of these tests may result in automatic suspension of an individual?s boating license, but it may also be in their best interest. Drivers stopped on suspicion of a DUI are typically instructed to refuse breath and blood test as the first line of defense against a conviction. Refusing these tests when stopped on the water may also be a wise choice. Individuals facing DUI charges may benefit by speaking with a DUI defense attorney.

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