Orlando Boating Under the Influence Defense Attorney

Boating Under the Influence is just as dangerous as driving vehicles under the influence. It can also carry similar penalties under Florida’s laws. According to Florida Statute 327.35, Boating Under the Influence is defined as operating a vessel within the state under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Vessel is defined as all watercraft, barge, and airboat (other than seaplanes on the water) used as a means of transportation on water.

If a person is not driving the vessel, but charged with care and control of the vessel, their impairment while caring/controlling the vessel can face Boating Under the Influence charges. These charges can also be brought upon a person in this situation who is asleep while impaired on the vessel.

Elements of Boating Under the Influence Crimes

In order to obtain a conviction for Boating Under the Influence, Orange County prosecutors must prove these factual elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Defendant was driving a vessel while affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties were impaired by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two; or
  • Defendant had a blood alcohol concentration of .08% while operating a vessel.

This means a Boating Under the Influence charge can be brought to conviction on merely a blood alcohol concentration or drug and alcohol impairment alone.


The crime of Boating Under the Influence can carry an array of penalties, including:

  • First Time Offenders
    • Up to 6 months in jail; and
    • Between $250 and $500 fine.
  • Second Time Offenders
    • Up to 12 months in jail; and
    • Between $500 and $1,000 fine.
  • Third Time Offenders (within 10 years)
    • Up to 5 years in prison; and
    • Up to $5,000 fine.

Penalties can increase for more serious instances, or greater quantities, of Boating Under the Influence convictions.

Possible Defenses

Boating Under the Influence charges can be combated by common defenses that include:

  • Illegal Stops;
  • Insufficient Probable Cause;
  • Improper Field Sobriety Tests; or
  • Inadmissible Breath Results.


If you find yourself standing accused of Boating Under the Influence you need to be sure you have a good lawyer on your side. Facing Boating Under the Influence charges, especially in Florida, can be tricky without the proper representation. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orlando, contact Sercombe Law. We routinely handle matters in Orange County and nearby jurisdictions.