Fort Walton Beach BUI Attorney
A lot of tourists and locals enjoy Fort Walton Beach’s beautiful coastline on Okaloosa Island, and the fishing and boating in Choctawhatchee Bay. The Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife, and the local sheriff’s department know this as well. They scour local waterways looking for signs of impaired boaters. That is why it is no surprise that Boating Under the Influence is one of the most common arrests during the spring and summer months in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
If you have been arrested for Boating Under the Influence, you need a Fort Walton Beach BUI lawyer with the expertise to get the best possible result.
The penalties for a BUI in Fort Walton Beach
The magic number for blood alcohol content is the same as a DUI, 0.08. If you are pulled over while operating a boat and your BAC tests higher than that, you will be arrested and charged with BUI. Under Florida Statute 327.35, there are many potential ramifications of a BUI arrest, including:
- Up to 9 months in jail (for a first conviction);
- Up to 12 months in jail (for a second conviction);
- Fines ranging between $500 and $1,000 (for a first conviction);
- Fines ranging between $1,000 and $2,000 (for a second conviction);
- Up to 1 year probation with sanctions such as substance abuse evaluation and treatment;
- Community service hours; and
- 10-day boat impoundment.
As you can see, BUIs are taken very seriously in Fort Walton Beach. You could be given jail time and will be required to pay hefty fines. Don’t face this alone; I have over 16 years experience defending BUI cases and I am ready to help you.
How can a BUI attorney really help me?
There are several ways in which I will defend your Fort Walton Beach BUI case. First and foremost, I will explore every option to get the charges against you dismissed. I will look at all of the information and evidence against you and plan a defense strategy that best suits your individual case. Another outcome I strive for is to have the charges reduced to Reckless Operation of a Vessel. This protects your reputation and is not viewed as an alcohol-related crime. I don’t just know the BUI laws. I also know the state prosecutors and the judges. I will use this knowledge to get the best possible result for you.