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The Dangers Of BUI

The Dangers of BUI

BUI, or boating under the influence, is illegal in all 50 states, just like DUI, or driving under the influence, is. Each state has their own penalties for boaters who are found to be breaking the law, from fines to jail time. The fact of the matter is that almost half of all boating deaths occur because alcohol was involved in some way. This is a problem that most states take seriously.

Matthews & Jones, LLP is a DUI law firm with offices in Destin, Santa Rosa, and Niceville. Our top-notch criminal defense attorneys can help with your DUI, DWI, DWAI, and BUI arrest. We work hard to ensure you obtain the most favorable outcome possible. Our DUI lawyers have years of experience in defending those arrested on BUI charges. Below, we’ll go over the dangers of BUI. Contact our BUI lawyers for a consultation!


Boater’s Hypnosis

Boater’s hypnosis, or boater’s fatigue, is a condition that is caused by the water environment. The noise of the water, the vibrations of the boat, the sun’s rays and glare, the wind, and the constant motion of the boat can slow a person’s reaction time because it relaxes your brain, and in effect, puts you to sleep. When you couple boater’s hypnosis with alcohol, which has similar effects of relaxation and slowing your reactions, the likelihood of a boating accident increases.

Inexperienced Drivers

Driving a boat is not as easy as many people think. First, most people get very little practice driving boats unless they grew up doing so, or they work in the fishing industry on one of the coasts. This means that most people have very little experience driving a boat, especially when compared to a car, and many people buy a boat without ever having driven one. This means they have very little experience handling waves and weather, as well as the controls. All of this leads to more boating accidents.

Desire to Have a Good Time

Boating is a very fun sport to get into, especially if you do love the water. After all, you can take your boat, go out to the middle of the lake or away from shore, and be by yourself. You can feel the boat rock with the waves, feel the wind in your hair, and feel the sea spray on your face. Plus, you add in all of the activities you can do on a boat, from water skiing and tubing to swimming and fishing, and you can spend all day enjoying the good life.

That being said, many people like to drink beer on the weekends and after work, or when having fun. Thus, many people take beer with them while boating. However, this is never a good idea, even if it weren’t against the law. Any kind of motorized vehicle needs your full attention in order to watch for other drivers and to operate the boat itself safely.

No Rules

There aren’t exactly stop lights and designated right-of-ways out on the water. In fact, boat collisions are another danger that must be watched out for because there are no “roadways” or “thoroughfares” out on the water. Driving a boat is very much a matter of avoidance and yielding even when you don’t think it’s your turn to do so. When you add in alcohol and a congested lake or boating area, this is a recipe for disaster.


Many people who have been drinking drown for no explicable reason. This is due to the fact that when you get water in your ears, your sense of direction can be thrown off, and you can become disoriented. Known as caloric labyrinthitis, this inner ear disturbance can be exacerbated by alcohol and a sudden drop in body temperature from the water. Plus, people who have been drinking may gasp more and breathe in water as well. This causes people not to know which direction is up or down when they go swimming. If you throw in alcohol, this condition is only worsened, and many people end up sadly swimming to their own deaths.


The BUI lawyers at Matthews & Jones, LLP have years of experience in helping those who have been arrested and charged with BUI. BUI has serious consequences if convicted, especially if harm was caused. For a first time offense, you will face a minimum fine of $500 and/or up to six months in jail. For a second BUI offense, you’ll face a fine of a minimum of $1,000 and/or up to nine months in jail. A third BUI offense within 10 years results in a fine of $5,000 and up to five years in a Florida state prison. The threshold level is the same as a DUI with .08 blood alcohol content considered legally drunk. Plus, if you have previous convictions or your blood alcohol content was excessively high, if a minor was involved, or if someone was harmed, the penalties will increase.

We have three convenient law offices to serve you, in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, and in Niceville. Our caring and compassionate BUI lawyers will help ensure you obtain a favorable outcome. Our criminal law services also include representation for DUI, DWI, DWAI, and much more. With decades of experience, you can rest assured that you will be in good hands. Contact us for a consultation today!

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