Panama City BUI Attorney 

Experienced Representation for Clients in Bay, Calhoun, Jackson, Walton, & Surrounding County, Florida

Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have serious legal consequences, and it’s not just limited to driving a car. Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is becoming increasingly common as law enforcement cracks down on boaters operating their vessels while impaired. This can lead to hefty fines and even jail time for those who are found guilty of BUI offenses. 

Hinson Law Offices is here to provide comprehensive legal representation for those facing BUI charges in Panama City and across the greater Bay, Calhoun, Jackson, and Walton county, Florida. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys has over 25 years of legal experience defending clients against charges such as first-time DUI/BUI offenses, underage drinking and driving, operating a vessel with a suspended license, and more. 

Our firm understands that being arrested or charged can be an extremely daunting situation. That’s why we take a hands-on approach when working with our clients — getting to know them on a personal level and doing everything possible to help them build confidence during their case proceedings. We also believe that establishing a relationship based on trust and good communication is essential in achieving the best possible outcome. Our attorneys are prepared to go to trial and are dedicated to helping our clients receive a favorable result. 

Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Laws in Florida

Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is a serious offense in Florida and carries a range of penalties depending on the severity and circumstances of the case. 

Does a BUI Affect Your License in Florida?

A Boating Under the Influence (BUI) conviction does not automatically suspend your driver's license in Florida. According to Florida Statute 327.35, it is unlawful for any person to operate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes any type of vessel, including boats, jet skis, yachts, and more. 

BUI can be charged if an individual has a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, which is considered impaired. Additionally, it’s important to note that operating a vessel with your normal faculties impaired as well as having an open container of alcohol onboard can also lead to BUI charges in Florida. 

Penalties for BUI in Florida

If you are convicted of a BUI in Florida, you could face harsh penalties. Florida is an implied consent state, which means that you have automatically given your consent to a chemical test when you were arrested for a DUI. This means that if you refuse to take a breath or blood test, you could face additional penalties.

The penalties for a first-time BUI conviction can include:

  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Community Service
  • Vessel impoundment
  • Mandatory assessment or treatment for alcohol or drug abuse
  • Probation

The penalties for a second-time BUI conviction can include:

  • Up to 9 months in Jail
  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Vessel impoundment
  • An alcohol and drug assessment or treatment program
  • Probation

The conviction for a 3rd BUI within 10 years is a 3rd Degree Felony:

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Vessel impoundment
  • An alcohol and drug assessment or treatment program
  • Probation

The penalties for a third BUI conviction more than 10 years after earlier conviction(s) can include:

  • Up to 12 months in Jail
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Vessel impoundment
  • An alcohol and drug assessment or treatment program
  • Probation

Questions You May Have About Your BUI

Being arrested for Boating Under the Influence (BUI) can be a perplexing and overwhelming experience, leaving you with many questions about what to expect and how to best handle your case. 

Some of the questions that may arise include:

  • What happens if I’m found guilty? 
  • What if I caused an accident? 
  • Will I go to jail?                                   
  • Can I get my boating registration suspended?                
  • Will I not be allowed to boat anymore?              
  • How can a police officer tell if I'm impaired on a moving boat? 

Our team of experienced BUI attorneys at Hinson Law Offices has seen and heard it all when it comes to BUI cases in Panama City and surrounding counties and is here to answer any questions you may have about your situation. We will work with you to explain the details of your case, identify all potential defense strategies, and fight for a favorable outcome. 

Call Hinson Law Offices at (850) 403-6348 today or complete our online consultation form to discuss your BUI case and learn more about our services. We are here to help you every step of the way.


WHY CHOOSE Hinson Law Offices?
  • Clear Communication
    We believe in empowering our clients by providing them with transparent communication every step of the way.
  • Direct Attention
    We take a hands-on approach and will even visit clients in jail on a monthly basis.
  • A Serious Trial Attorney

    We show the prosecution that we mean business by aggressively preparing your case from the minute you hire us.

  • Experience On Your Side

    Hinson Law Offices leverages more than 25 years of  legal experience.

Have You Been Charged With A Crime? YOUR CHOICE OF DEFENSE CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. choose Hinson Law offices.