Gasparilla: Festivities, Pirates & BUIs

Before Tampa earned a reputation as an ideal vacation destination, it was frequented by pirates stopping between their crusades for a bounty on the high seas. Today, the pirates live on through local tradition and their stories, true or otherwise, are retold through an annual celebration. The Gasparilla Festival is a colorful celebration of the city’s pirating past. Unfortunately, many people who attend this event celebrate a little too authentically, so an increase in BUI charges and other crimes is a less glamorous tradition associated with Gasparilla.

What Is Gasparilla?

The three-month-long pirate festival officially kicks off this Sunday at 2:00 PM with the Parade of Pirates. At this time, hundreds of pirates will sail across Tampa Bay and finish their trip in downtown Tampa. These pirates will be accompanying Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla as they navigate the 165-foot Jose Gasparilla through the water. After this parade, Tampa will have several related community events until March.

Does Crime Increase During Gasparilla?

Though most of the 300,000 attendees will stay out of trouble, some will be arrested for celebrating a little too much. Crime at the event has decreased significantly since 2010, but it is still hard to avoid when such a large group gathers in a dense area to celebrate. During the 2018 Gasparilla, authorities arrested 38 people for crimes ranging from underage drinking to battery. On the water, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrested 15 people for boating under the influence.

Crimes associated with Gasparilla often include the following:

Gasparilla BUI Arrests Require an Attorney’s Help

Facing a BUI charge of any type is intimidating. Those arrested for BUI may believe they have no options and must accept whatever they’re offered in the courtroom. When a person shows up to court without the representation of an experienced attorney, they may face a prosecutor who will use the opportunity to seek the harshest punishment possible for their charges. Having an experienced Tampa BUI defense lawyer will help ensure your rights are protected. We will also fight to have your charges reduced or dropped. 

Call Thomas & Paulk for the Defense of Your Gasparilla BUI Charges

Thomas & Paulk is a criminal defense firm with extensive experience defending those who are facing DUI or BUI charges. As one of the premier DUI firms in the Tampa area, our team has the experience needed to help clients fight their charges. However, every second is important after you are charged with a crime. By contacting our firm as soon as possible, you are giving your case a crucial benefit: time. A great defense takes time to build, so we are ready to start fighting for your future immediately.

If your time out on the water during Gasparilla resulted in a BUI charge, contact our Tampa BUI defense attorneys as soon as possible for a free consultation. We are ready to find your best options when you call (813) 321-7323 or contact us online.