The Florida Boaters Guide: A Handbook of Boating Laws and Responsibilities
The Official Boating Handbook of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - Web Version
Table of Contents
Florida's laws against boating under the influence (BUI) of alcohol or other drugs are as strict as those for driving a vehicle while impaired.
- Florida law prohibits anyone from operating any vessel or using water skis, a sailboard, or similar device while intoxicated due to alcohol or any combination of alcohol, controlled substances, or drugs.
- Florida law states that a person is considered to be "under the influence" if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, or is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to a degree that impairs his or her normal abilities. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 to 0.08 also may indicate a person is "under the influence" if accompanied by other competent evidence.
- By operating any vessel on Florida waters, you have consented to be tested for the presence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances if requested by a peace officer. Refusal to submit to testing is punishable by a civil penalty of $500 and is also a crime if you have ever been fined for a previous refusal.
Florida takes a strong stand against underage drinking while operating a vessel. Commonly referred to as the ".02 Law," those boaters under 21 years of age who are found with a measurable breath alcohol level of 0.02 or higher are subject to receiving a citation with minimum mandatory sentencing. If a person under 21 is above a 0.08 breath alcohol concentration, he or she also can be charged with BUI.