Florida is a boater’s paradise but has some of the strictest marine law enforcement in the country. Boating under the influence can carry several penalties.
In Florida, law enforcement agencies are allowed to randomly stop and inspect vessels without the same type of probable cause needed to stop you in your car. Florida boating laws are very broadly defined.
IS DRINKING AND BOATING LEGAL IN FLORIDA?
Law enforcement who stop vessels may:
- Inspect for the required safety equipment such as life jackets, flares and working navigation lights
- Check fishing permits, registration certificates
- Check bag and size limits
Once a vessel has been stopped, law enforcement must follow strict procedures to determine if the vessel is safe and if the operator is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a U.S. Coast Guard officer has reason to believe a boater is BUI, that Coast Guard officer can hand that boater over to the local police.
BOATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE PENALTIES
First time offenders face stiff fines, possible jail time, probation, and loss of boating license in addition to all of the consequences of having a DUI charge on their record. Contact us today for experienced and affordable counsel!