Florida is one of the most popular states in the United States when it comes to bodies of water and beaches. It covers over 170,000 km square miles of land. And we all know it is also rich in different bodies of water. It has over 7,000 square miles of water and is a high ranking in the country for states with the most significant water area. There are many different bodies of water in Florida like beaches and lakes, which makes boating and fishing one of the most popular hobbies. It is one relaxing activity often enjoyed by outdoor lovers together with their friends and families.
However, handling a boat is not as easy as you think. Not anyone is allowed to operate one, you need to have a license too, and you need to adhere to the states’ laws and regulations. Not doing so may result in the revocation of your boating license if you are new to boating or are planning to buy your first boat. Here are some of the basic facts on Florida Boating Laws according to an expert Miami boating accident lawyer you need to get familiar with.
Reporting a Boating Accident
In any event that there is a boating accident, the boat operator is responsible for contacting the nearest local police station for reporting. Your report should be within 30 days from the time the incident happened. However, if it resulted in death, you should say it within 48 hours. No matter how difficult, you also need to report injuries especially those who require medical treatments. And no matter how small or significant the physical damage looks like, if the damage on the watercraft is over $2000, you should also report it. If you are a victim of a boating accident in Miami, it’s best to get in touch with a Miami boating accident lawyer for you to know your rights and compensations.
The Boater Education Course
You might have heard of the Boater Education Course, and you are familiar with what it is about. The course is part of boating laws in Florida. If you were born on September 1, 1993, or after that, you would need a boaters’ certificate to operate a water vessel. In the area. This course is given by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary as well as the US Power Squadron. You need to go through this to ensure that you have the necessary skills to operate the vessel.
Operating a Boat While Intoxicated
Strict rules also apply when it comes to drunk driving. Similar to cars, your license may even get suspended. Your license may be discontinued when you are operating a watercraft with an engine of 50 horsepower or above while intoxicated. It is also applicable when you get stopped, but you refuse to undergo a breath or blood test to determine your alcohol level. On the other hand, the open container law is not applicable since it is only for people in possession of any alcoholic beverage in the passenger side of a motor vehicle. It is not relevant to watercraft. If it is your first time to get caught, your suspension is around 180 days. If you need help regarding a charge relating to this, consult a lawyer for assistance.
Water Safety Regulations
Just like all other laws and regulations, boating also has some. If you want to learn more about the rules, you may check on the Florida Water Safety act. They have detailed regulations for every body of water within their jurisdiction.
About the Author
Keith S. Brais, https://braislaw.com/
Keith S. Brais is one of a very specialized group of lawyers in the State of Florida that is Board Certified in Maritime and Admiralty Law by the Florida Bar. Additionally, Keith S. Brais holds an “AV” rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest rating attainable.
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