Case Results

Boating Under the Influence Case Dismissed, for the Fifth Time This Year

September 2016

For the third time this year, we had a Boating Under the Influence case totally dismissed.  In our other two boating cases this year, the charges were reduced to Reckless Operation.  That's five for five on Boating Under the Influence cases in 2016.

Our success with boating cases is really not surprising, all things considered. It's very easy for police to make mistakes in investigating cases involving Boating and Alcohol. For one thing, the lanes on the lakes and oceans are not clearly marked. The variability of conditions makes it very difficult to eyeball whether an operator is driving "erratically." There is wind. And waves. And some boats are just not as stable as others.

There is a second problem with investigating a nautical alcohol case. The field sobriety exercises were not designed to be done on the pitching deck of a pleasure boat. Things like balance and coordination, and even the smoothness of how the eyes track, are disturbed by being at sea.  P

As a result, a high percentage of Boating Under the Influence arrests are unsupported by the evidence. In today's case, our client was stopped for speeding in a no wake zone. A quick glance in the boat found dozens of beer cans left over from months of fishing and drinking. It was enough that the police made an arrest, but when our client was returned to shore, he blew only .04 on the Intoxilyzer. That is one-half of the legal limit.  

For months, the State insisted that our client plead guilty to Reckless Operation of a Vessel. We declined and set the case for trial. Five days before jury selection, the case was dismissed. Many years, we don't see a single Boating Under the Influence case during the entire year. This year we handled BUI cases for five clients. And none of the five was convicted of BUI. 

Practice area(s): DUI / DWI

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Tom Hudson

Known nationwide as a leading DUI defense lawyer, Tom has tried over 350 jury trials, including numerous death penalty cases. He now limits his criminal practice to DUI defense. His civil practice is devoted to getting fair compensation for the victims of negligence. Tom has attained multiple verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million, and is a Life Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In 2008, Tom Hudson passed the National Board Certification Test for DUI Attorneys in Honolulu, Hawaii. NOTE: The State of Florida does not yet recognize DUI defense as a Specialty.

Board Certification in DUI Defense

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Tom Hudson passed the National Board Certification Examination (written and oral) in Honolulu in 2008, and was recertified in 2013. He was one of the first 50 lawyers granted national board certification in DUI Defense, and is nationally recognized as an authority in DUI law.

Why We're Different

Board Certification as a DUI Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense. Formal NHTSA Certification as an Instructor of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests given by police in DUI cases. Formal training as a NHTSA Drug Recognition Evaluator. ("Drug Evaluation & Classification") Formal training to operate the Intoxilyzer 8000, Florida's official breath test instrument. Extensive experience in teaching other attorneys how to handle DUI cases. Hundreds of jury trials both as defense lawyer and as prosecutor. Florida's State Delegate to the National College for DUI Defense.