Experienced, hard-working and dedicated, our maritime criminal defense trial attorney, Chris Van Riper, is committed to protecting your freedom. Attorney, Christian Van Riper, an avid boater, is a former prosecuting attorney, where he litigated many DUI and BUI cases on behalf of the State of Florida.
Chris cares about winning. He is known for the personal attention he gives to his clients. Wouldn't it be comforting to know that you have hired an attorney that cares about you and your family, and will work hard to make sure that you, or your loved one's legal and constitutional rights are being fought for following a BUI charge.
In the State of Florida, the laws governing the operation of a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol are similar to the DUI laws for operation of motor vehicles. To be found guilty of a BUI, the prosecutor, must prove that the boat operator: has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater (.02% for operators under 21); or impaired mental/physical abilities due to alcohol or any controlled substance.
Being arrested and charged with Boating Under the Influence is serious. If convicted in Florida, it will count as a prior DUI on any subsequent DUI offense you may be charged with. Boat operators in Florida under 21 will be arrested and charged with a BUI if their if their BAC level is higher than .02%. As under regular DUI law, enhanced penalties are in place for BAC levels .15 or higher and if a minor, 17 or younger, was on the vessel at the time of the arrest.
When faced with a BUI charge, hiring a skilled and experienced maritime criminal defense attorney is essential if you wish to protect your rights under Florida Law and avoid such legal penalties as jail time, steep fines, suspension of your driver's license, community service, probation, restitution (if someone was injured in an accident), mandatory alcohol-awareness courses, impoundment of your boat or personal watercraft, and more. An experienced and tenacious BUI defense lawyer can stand up to the prosecution and aggressively fight your charges throughout the BUI process.
For more information about our maritime practice, call 800-650-1243 day or night.