March 31, 2016

Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me? Boating while Intoxicated

Categories: Negligence, Personal Injury

Work with experienced Tampa Bay boating accident lawyers!

Gone are the days of rum-swilling pirates who swig from their bottles and spin the wheel in tandem. Today, we are limited by the laws of the land, unlike those high-seas-faring scallywags. Much less burning and pillaging happens now – though us Tampans do know how to have a swashbuckling good time pretending to be pirates on Gasparilla!

While DUIs are almost universally condemned, BUIs (Boating Under the Influence) do not carry nearly the same stigma. However, Florida’s laws against boating while impaired are just as strict as those while driving, which makes sense when you consider that Florida leads the nation in the number of boating deaths annually—and one third of those fatalities involve alcohol.

Like a DUI, a BUI has the potential to lead to a criminal record, probation, possible incarceration, fines, court fees, community service, mandatory educational courses, and the removal of your boat. It also counts as a DUI on your record, or can be counted with a previous DUI.

The big difference between a DUI and a BUI is that, unlike drinking and driving, drinking and boating is legal. You can be sipping a beer while steering. The action becomes illegal only when the driver is impaired or the legal limit of 0.08 is reached. If you add in the lack of prerequisites to driving a boat (in comparison to driving a car), it can be tricky for a law enforcement official to make an accurate call regarding whether judgment is impaired.

If you’ve been injured while on a boat with an impaired captain or in a boating situation involving alcohol, your situation needs the knowledge and experience of a lawyer. Contact an Tampa boating accident attorney at Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore for a free consultation today.

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