Ocala Boating Under Influence Attorneys
When you think of driving under the influence, you may imagine people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and driving cars or trucks on the road. While this is the most common scenario, drinking and driving can also happen on the water. This is called boating under the influence and it can be just as dangerous as driving a car while intoxicated. Accidents caused by boating under the influence can cause serious injuries or death, with drowning incidents especially common. Have you been charged with boating under the influence? If so, contact an Ocala boating under influence attorney who can defend you.
Can You Drink Alcohol on a Boat?
Drinking alcohol while boating is not the problem. Many people kick back with a beer or other alcoholic drink while fishing or going on a relaxing boat ride. A person is allowed to drink on a boat as long as the alcohol consumption does not affect their ability to control the boat. It’s when a person starts acting reckless that alcohol becomes a problem. That is when a person can get charged with boating under the influence.
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Boating Under the Influence: Definition and Penalties
When a person drives a boat or another watercraft while impaired, they can be charged with boating under the influence. To be convicted of this offense, one of the following must apply:
- A blood alcohol concentration level of at least 0.08%
- Impaired mental and physical abilities due to alcohol or drugs
Boating under the influence can lead to various penalties, such as:
- First offense: Up to $500 in fines and up to six months in jail.
- Second offense: Up to $1,000 in fines and up to 12 months in jail.
- Third offense in 10 years: Up to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in prison.
In some cases, a person can face enhanced penalties for operating a boat while impaired. Here are a couple examples:
- Having a BAC above .15%. This is a second-degree misdemeanor that can result in up to nine months in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
- Accidents that cause property damage or minor injuries. This is a first-degree misdemeanor that can result in up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- Accidents that cause serious injuries. This is a third-degree felony that can result in up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
- Accidents that cause death. This can be a first- or second-degree felony. A person can face 15-30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Contact an Ocala Boating Under Influence Attorney Today
A person can be accused of a DUI while driving any type of vehicle anywhere. It does not have to be a passenger vehicle on a paved road. It can be a boat on a lake, river, ocean, or any other body of water.
With Florida home to many bodies of water, boating under the influence is quite common. If you have been accused of such a crime, seek legal help from the criminal defense attorneys at Meldon Law. To schedule a consultation with an Ocala boating under influence attorney, call (800) 373-3000.