Ft. Lauderdale Jet Ski Accident Lawyer Talks About the Boating Laws of Florida
If you are an avid fan of the outdoors or the water, then one thing you should never miss when visiting Florida is its beautiful water bodies, just like Miami beaches. You can always take time to spend a relaxing day out on the beach or the ocean. You can even hold your party in a sailboat. And out in the water, whether it be the lake or the sea, there are a variety of activities you can surely enjoy with your friends and loved ones.
However, you also need to know that Florida is very strict about implementing its laws. Boating and Jet ski accidents mostly involved drivers who are intoxicated. So, if you are planning on having a party or drinking aboard, you have to familiarize yourself first with the boating laws of Florida. If you had a jet ski accident or collision and suspect that the other party is intoxicated, consult a Ft. Lauderdale jet ski accident lawyer. If it is your first time to hear of it, yes it does exist, and the gravity of punishment is not light either.
Children and Florida Boating Law
In Miami, every boaters or passenger below six who onboarded any vessel lesser than 26 feet tall must be wearing a United States Coast Guard-approved PFD; it could be Type 1, 2, or 3.
“Underway” is defined as any time except when the boat is anchored, moored, made fast to the land, or foundered. To put it simply, every child under six must wear a life jacket all the time.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI) and Alcohol
When in Florida, remember that it is a law violation to run a boat while drug and alcohol intoxicated. A boat operator that is on a suspect for boating under the influence needs to comply with a series of sobriety tests and a physical test or a chemical exam to identify its blood alcohol level – or even alcohol breath content.
A boat operator with a blood or breath alcohol degree equivalent to or more than .08% is assumed that he or she must be under the influence of alcohol. Anyone who is below 21 years old who are discovered having a breath alcohol degree that is .02% or greater and is operating or is physically controlling the boat is in violating the Florida boating law and subject to law enforcement apprehension.
Florida Boat Registration
The (FWC) Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is in charge of directing the boating laws and regulations in Florida’s state.
All vessels controlled by any type of machinery, which include but not limited to diesel, petrol, and electric motors, and largely controlled on Florida waters, should register in the Department of Highway and Safety and Motor Vehicles. A copy of the registration certificate should be on the boat itself, especially if the vessel is for lease.
Boats that have a current registration in another State rather than Florida and have not been sailing or kept in Florida waters for at least 90 consecutive days aren’t required to be enrolled in Florida.
What is BWI?
Boating While Intoxicated, more commonly known as BWI is somewhat similar to DWI, just that it involves water vehicles. The law prohibits anyone from operating any watercraft when under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. As defined in the law, a craft includes any boat, aquaplane, water ski, and another water vessel that is used to transport people by water. If you are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, the authorities have the right to ask you for a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) test. The acceptable BAC is 0.08 percent and below. If you exceed the limit, they have the right to arrest you and you can possibly be charged for BWI.
First Offense BWI
On your first charge for BWI, you will get sentenced for class B misdemeanor. You will spend time in jail for about 72 hours to 180 days and pay a fine of $2,000 depending on the gravity of your offense. However, if your drunkenness caused harm to anyone, you may get charged for a third-degree felony, and your sentence will be from two to ten years maximum in prison plus a penalty of that could be $10,000. Additionally, if death resulted in your offense, you will be charged for a third-degree felony, and the sentence is also high. The verdict is two to twenty years in jail plus penalties of no more than $10,000.
Second Offense BWI
You have to remember that BWI and DWI are closely related. Even if it is your first time getting arrested for BWI if you have a DWI prior, then the charge will get counted as your second offense. The same law applies to DWI. The battery is calculated as a class A misdemeanor. It will come with jail time of thirty days up to one year plus a fine of no more than $4,000.
Third Offense BWI
Your third offense for either BWI or DWI is the same. They will count your priors on both. The violation is calculated and considered third-degree felony. The penalty is up to $10,000 plus two to ten years in jail.
When you get in trouble with either BWI or DWI in Florida, it is best to seek assistance immediately. Visit Brais Law Firm or call us for consultation and services.