DUI Defense Lawyers Whittel & Melton Serving Marion County – Volusia County :: Man Convicted of DUI Manslaughter Arrested for BUI

A 45-year-old man sentenced to six years in prison in August 2003 for DUI-manslaughter was arrested in Volusia County, Florida on August 20, 2011 for Boating Under the Influence.

The man was released from a state prison on Sept. 6, 2008 and started serving five years of probation.

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that they were patrolling the waterways of the St. John’s River in Volusia County before 11 p.m. on Aug. 20 when they noticed the engine of a 17-foot ski boat trapped in a fence of barbed-wire.

According to the Ocala Star Banner, the 45-year-old man was the boat’s operator, who supposedly was confused why the boat would not move.

Commission officials freed the boat and did a safety inspection, according to a report. Officials allegedly noted a strong smell of alcohol while on board that appeared to come from the man, who supposedly had slurred speech and looked unstable.

After completing a field sobriety test, the man was arrested, which was a violation of the terms of his probation.

A Marion County judge signed off on an arrest warrant on Sept. 6 for VOP. The man turned himself in to the Marion County Jail on Sept. 14.

Along with prison time and probation, the man’s DUI-manslaughter sentence included a $500 fine and court costs, 100 hours of community service and permanent revocation of his driver’s license.

One of the punishments of a Florida DUI or DUI-manslaughter conviction is a probationary period. This requires that the defendant have no measurable alcohol in their system while operating any kind of motor vehicle, including a boat. When a defendant fails to comply with any of the terms associated with probation conditions, probation can be revoked and a court may insist on jail time. There is a hearing on the matter and the right Florida DUI Attorney can support your side and possibly keep you out of jail.

The laws governing the operation of a watercraft under the influence are essentially the same as DUI laws for motor vehicles in the state of Florida. To be found guilty of a BUI in Florida a prosecutor must prove that the operator has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or greater or has impaired physical or mental abilities as a result of alcohol or a controlled substance. If convicted of a BUI, it will count as a previous DUI on any other consequent DUI offense you may have. Undoubtedly, the man’s prior DUI-manslaughter conviction will be counted against him and enhanced penalties could ensue.

A BUI charge can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony that carries heavy penalties for anyone convicted. A first conviction for BUI could carry consequences of a $500 fine and six months in jail. A second conviction could result in a $1,000 fine and up to nine months in jail. A third or consecutive conviction could lead to a felony charge that includes heavier fines and prison time. The Florida DUI Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are familiar with BUI laws and will work hard to evade a first conviction or any consecutive ones.


If you have been charged with BUI or DUI in Volusia County, elsewhere in Marion County or throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida Criminal-DUI Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or reach us at our Ocala consultation office at 352-369-5334 or dial us toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).

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