Do I have to be “Captaining” (at the helm) a boat to get a BUI”
Most DUIs are easy. Whomever was driving gets popped. But, when it comes to BUI’s no one has to be physically navigating a boat and there doesn’t necessarily need to be a captain at the helm for someone to get a BUI. So when it comes to BUI’s the issue of who gets charged can get a little more complicated, then it is on land, and by defining the word “operator” Florida boating laws make it very clear about who will get charged with a BUI when no one is at the wheel.
So who gets charged with a BUI if no one is at the helm but everyone on board is intoxicated? If the officer can’t tell who is in charge then, according to FL Statute 327.02(27) to “operate” a boat means to either be 1) in charge of or 2) in command of 3) in actual physical control of a vessel upon the waters of this state, or 4) to exercise control over or 5) to have responsibility for vessel’s navigation or safety while the vessel is underway upon the waters of this state.
Think about this the next time you are partying at the sandbar. Just as is the case with a car, when you are boating it is an excellent idea (not just from a legal standpoint but also as a practical matter) to have a designated driver.
If you have someone who is sober to assume responsibility for getting all of the vessel’s occupants safely back to port then a BUI (and a potential boating catastrophe) can be easily avoided.
At Michael A. Haber, PA “it’s all about reasonable doubt”!
Please note that no attorney-client relationship with either Michael A. Haber, PA or Michael A. Haber, Esq. exists as a result of your watching this Webisode series. Further any and all information which is both contained in and may be construed from this Webisode series is generic in nature and should only be considered as informational and not as actual legal advise in any specific case. Should you wish to seek actual legal advise then please feel free to contact Michael A. Haber, Esq. as follows:
Office Phone: 305-381-8686
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-SHARK-8-1
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