People standing on a sailboat in the water, the sunsetting in the background

Boating Under the Influence: It’s a Crime

Just as you cannot drive a car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you cannot operate a boat while intoxicated. While many people view boating as a leisurely activity, you are still operating a large, dangerous vehicle. Ensure you stay safe and only drive sober to avoid any injuries or criminal charges.

What is the Legal Limit for BAC While Boating?

The legal limit for boating is the same as for driving - .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Since there is no system in place to measure drug intoxication like there is for alcohol, you may get a BUI if there is enough evidence that leads the officer to believe you are under the influence of drugs. For example, a strong smell of marijuana and physical symptoms of impairment may lead to a BUI charge.

BUI Implied Consent

Like all other states, Florida has implied consent laws. This means that when driving in Florida, you automatically consent to taking a chemical test when asked by police. This could be a breath or blood test.

Implied consent does apply to driving a boat as well. If you are pulled over while on the water, you are required by law to take a breath test.

Penalties for a BUI

Penalties for first-offense boating under the influence include:

  • Up to 6 months in jail

  • Up to $2,000 in fines

  • Possible license suspension


If the driver has a BAC of over .15%, the penalties will be elevated. Certain aggravating factors may even lead to felony charges.

Common Boating Accident Injuries

A significant number of boating injuries happen as a result of boating under the influence.

Common boating injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Spinal cord damage leading to paralysis

  • Broken bones

  • Amputations

  • Drowning

If you or a loved one has been harmed by an intoxicated boater, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Michles & Booth has helped countless accident victims recover the funds they need for medical bills, lost wages, and more. Learn how we can help you seek justice.

Call Michles & Booth at (800) 848-6168 to schedule a free consultation.

Do Not Wait to Take a Stand

Let Us Fight on Your Team Today
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.