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The BUI Task Force Story
Here in Miami-Dade County, we’re fortunate to enjoy a year-round boating season thanks to our climate and beautiful waterways. Although we encourage residents to enjoy all that our home has to offer, maintaining safety is a major part of the ongoing mission of our first responders.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Florida ranks second in deaths due to boating accidents where alcohol was a contributing factor. Simply put, drinking and boating don’t mix.
More importantly, it’s against the law. Anyone operating a boat with a breath alcohol level above .08 is breaking the law. That also goes for anyone under 21 operating a boat with a breath alcohol level over .02.
So to make our waterways safer, I alongside other local, state and federal leaders announced the formation of the multi-agency Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Task Force on Aug. 27, 2014.
The members of this task force will share resources and work together to enforce maritime laws, adopting a zero tolerance policy toward operating a boat under the influence.
As a firefighter for over 25 years — including 9 as chief — one of the most important lessons I learned is that it’s much more important to prevent an accident than respond to one. Not one more family should have to suffer the loss or serious injury of a loved one due to a preventable accident on the water.
Other members of the task force share this view, most notably Chief Charles Press of the Key Biscayne Police Department whose own personal experience led him to become a leading advocate for a multi-agency approach to preventing boating accidents.
Boaters can also help with prevention. If you serve alcohol aboard your vessel, have a designated boat operator at the helm. Additionally, if you see another boater operating their craft irresponsibly, report it to the authorities.
Together, we can make our waterways and beaches safe and fun for everyone.Back to Top Page Last Edited: Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:20:42 PM
Contact us if you see someone operating a boat under the influence.
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