Two men are facing boating under the influence and child abuse charges after being arrested in Ft. Pierce. A charging document revealed that four children aboard a boat became concerned for their safety while on a boat trip with their fathers due to the amount of alcohol the two men were consuming.
Police reported that the children told them that the two men beached the boat, and went for a walk along shore. The children were allegedly left unattended on the boat. Because the boat hadn’t been properly secured, it drifted off of the beach area and into the river. A teenage boy of 14 years began yelling to his father for help, but the two men ignored him. The boy was able to start the boat and return it to the beach.
The other man’s son and daughter who were aboard the boat began calling home about the incident, but their father reportedly took their phones from them and threw them in the water. The man’s wife is said to have called 911 and the Coast Guard was waiting for them at Fisherman’s Wharf. Police reported that both men submitted to field sobriety tests, swayed and had a strong odor of alcohol.
There is no indication whether the men failed the field sobriety tests or submitted to breath or other blood alcohol testing. Criminal lawyer Jeffrey Garland knows that it’s not necessarily against the law in the State of Florida to consume alcohol and operate a boat. It’s also perfectly natural to sway while getting one’s “land legs” after being on a boat. Whether the men were guilty of child abuse is up to one’s interpretation of a very vague statute they were charged under.
There are many defenses to a Florida BUI. To obtain a criminal conviction, the State of Florida must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Fort Pierce criminal lawyer Jeffrey Garland will investigate each and every fact of the circumstances surrounding an arrest to uncover every possible doubt about the guilt of a client who is charged with a crime.
If you, a family member or a friend is charged with BUI, DUI, child abuse or any other crime in the Fort Pierce area, don’t hesitate to contact Jeffrey H. Garland at (772) 242-6380.