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Sea Tow Foundation Appoints Seven New Members to North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council

Posted By Gail Kulp, Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Press Release

Sea Tow Foundation Appoints Seven New Members to North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council   

The Sea Tow Foundation has appointed seven new marine industry stakeholders to serve on its North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council which was established in 2019. This new slate joins a dozen inaugural council members and will collaborate on a variety of strategies and tactics to promote greater awareness and adoption of boating safety initiatives and messages both within the recreational marine industry and the boating consumer space.

 

“We couldn’t be more pleased about the overall composition and the depth of experience in our newly appointed council members,” said Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director Gail R. Kulp  “We were very impressed by the quality of the nominations and the resulting expanded representation that embraces new segments of the marine industry including insurance, podcasting, personal watercraft and sailing.”

 

New inductees were voted in by the North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council and will serve a two-year term beginning June 1, 2020. Appointees are listed below in alphabetical order:

 

·         Adam Fortier-Brown, Government Relations Manager, MRAA

·         TK Krumenacker, CEO, Admirals Insurance Corp

·         Tyler Mehrl, Category Manager/Steering and Controls, Mercury Marine

·         Mark Pillsbury, Editor, Cruising World Magazine 

·         Angie Scott, Podcast Host, The Woman Angler & Adventurer

·         Eric Shepard, Retired (30 years in the marine and aviation safety industries)

·         Leslie Zlotnick, Advertising Manager, Yamaha Watercraft Group

 

About the Sea Tow Foundation North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council

Launched in 2019, the North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council now includes 19 members representing multiple sectors of the recreational boating industry along with an executive task force. In its first year, the council organized and debuted its first National Boating Industry Safety Awards to recognize the outstanding work of recreational boating organizations in promoting boating safety. The council is actively engaged in supporting a variety of safe boating initiatives including the Sober Skipper Program which encourages boaters to be or to designate a Sober Skipper before leaving the dock. The ultimate goal of the Sober Skipper Program is to eliminate the number of boating accidents and deaths related to Boating Under the Influence on North American waterways.

 

For more information about the North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council, please visit: www.boatingsafety.com/nassac

 

To learn more about the Sea Tow Foundation’s Sober Skipper Program, please visit soberskipper.com.

Tags:  2019-20  Boating Safety  Boating Under the Influence  NASSAC  North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council  Sober Skipper 

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Boating Under the Influence & Life Jacket Age Reference State by State

Posted By Michael Wesolowski, Thursday, April 30, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Boating Under the Influence & Life Jacket Age Reference State by State

Use this quick table for boating under the influence (BUI) limits, penalties, and life jacket age requirements from each state and territory in the United States.

The US Coast Guard requires properly fitting life jackets be readily accessible and within reach of all passengers on board, along with a throwable floatation device. The table below includes some requirements for life jackets on human-powered vessels such as kayaks, stand-up paddleboard or other similar craft however for specific details, please check with your state for more details.  

For children, the US Coast Guard requires that when a vessel is underway, children under 13 years of age must wear their life jacket. Exceptions are for when the children are below deck or within an enclosed cabin. To learn how to choose the correct children’s life jacket that fits properly, click this link. 

Information on this table includes a link back to its source for each state and boaters should check with the states where they intend to boat before heading out on the water to ensure that there have been no changes. The information in this chart will be reviewed annually by Sea Tow Foundation and updated as needed. The last review was completed in April 2020. 

We appreciate your comments and you can comment anytime at the end of this blog post.

 

 

 

STATE OR TERRITORY

BLOOD ALCOHOL LIMIT %

BUI PENALTY

LIFE JACKET AGE REQUIREMENT

Federal

n/a

n/a

Federal Law requires that when a vessel is underway, children under 13 years of age must wear their life jacket. Exceptions for when below deck or within an enclosed cabin. State laws may vary.

Alabama

.08

Large fines and/or jail time plus suspension of operator's certification.

All persons under eight (8) years of age, on any vessel, must, at all times, wear a U. S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device that must be strapped, snapped, or zipped securely in place; except, that no personal flotation device should be required when inside an enclosed cabin or enclosed sleeping space.

Alaska

.08

Driving under the influence and the penalties for conviction also apply to boat operators.

 

Persons under 13 must wear a life jacket when in an open boat, on the deck of a boat, or when being towed (i.e. tubing, waterskiing)

Arizona

.08

Th estate of Arizona's operating under the influence (OUI) law mirrors the states vehicular driving under the influence DUI laws and penalties.

All Vessels, including paddleboards and kayaks, must have at least one USCG-approved wearable life jacket for each person on board. The only exceptions are sailboards and certain racing shells. All children 12 years of aga and younger must wear a USCG-approved wearable life jacket while underway on the any vessel. the life jacket must be fastened according to the manufacturer’s recommended use and must fit the child properly.

Arkansas

.08

Upon a first conviction, a person will lose his or her driver's license for a period of 6 months. In addition, jail and fine may be included.

Children under 12 years old and younger must wear a USCG-approved PFD securely fastened to their person at all times while on any vessel. Except if the child is within the enclosed area of a houseboat or cruiser, or within the area enclosed by railing on a party barge, cruiser, or houseboat, and the vessel is not underway.

California

.08 or less

Operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a misdemeanor and could carry a penalty of one year in the county jail, or a fine, or both.

No person may operate or give permission to operate a vessel sixteen feet or more in length unless at least one wearable personal flotation device is on board for each person, plus at least one throwable personal flotation device, which is immediately available. Under state law, it is an infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $250, to operate a vessel of any length unless every child under 13 years of age on board is wearing a Type I, II, III or V Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

Colorado

.08

It is a misdemeanor for any person to operate or be in actual physical control of a vessel in this state while Under the influence of alcohol; any controlled substance; any combination of alcohol and

any controlled substance.

requires all operators and passengers to wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets and requires operators to use a lanyard switch. children 12 years of age and younger are required to wear a PFD whenever their vessel is on the water, except when they are in an enclosed cabin or below deck.

Connecticut

.08

The penalty for a first violation may be: a fine; suspension of boating privileges, jail, probation, and or hours community service

Be worn by children under 13 years old on any vessel that is underway unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin. Be worn by anyone in a manually propelled vessel from October 1 through May 31.

Delaware

.08

Fines, imprisoned, or both.

Every operator of a recreational boat shall be responsible for providing for the protection of any child 12 years of age or under by having any such child who is aboard a recreational boat upon the waters of this State, properly wear a Type I, II, III or V Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device which is in good serviceable condition and of the proper size. This section shall not apply to any child who is below deck or in an enclosed cabin or while said recreational boat is anchored or moored.

Florida

.08

A person is guilty of the offense of boating under the influence is subject to fines, imprisonment, or both.

A person may not operate a vessel less than 26 feet in length on the waters of this state unless every person under 6 years of age on board the vessel is wearing a personal flotation device currently approved by the United States Coast Guard and used in accordance with the United States Coast Guard approval label while such vessel is underway. For the purpose of this section, “underway” means at all times except when a vessel is anchored, moored, made fast to the shore, or aground.

Georgia

.08

Those arrested for boating under the influence may lose their privilege to operate a boat or PWC until they successfully complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program; and will also be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by fines and/or prison time.

All vessels must have a least one US Coast Guard USCG-approved Type I, II, III, or V person flotation device (PFD), sometimes called life jacket, for each person on board. Type V PFDs are acceptable only when worn and securely fastened. Children under 13 years old are required to wear a USCG-approved PFD while on board any moving vessel. Except if the child is in a fully enclosed cabin.

Hawaii

.08

Violations may be subject to fines and fees.

Children 12 years of age and under must wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while aboard a vessel operating or anchored offshore.

Idaho

.08

BUI is a misdemeanor and can include time in jail and/or a fine; and to attend and successfully complete a course on safe boating.

Children 14 and under must wear an approved life jacket when they are aboard a boat 19 feet in length or less whenever the boat is underway or under power. This applies to manually propelled boats such as canoes and rafts in addition to powerboats, sailboats, personal watercraft (jet skis) and fishing float tubes.

Illinois

.08

operating under the influence (OUI) is a Class “A” misdemeanor and can included jail and fines.

All vessels must have at least one U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)–approved wearable personal flotation device (PFD), sometimes called life jacket, for each person on board or being towed. All vessels 16 feet or longer, except canoes and kayaks, also must carry one USCG–approved throwable PFD. All children under the age of 13 must wear a PFD on vessels less than 26 feet in length when underway, unless they are below decks in an enclosed cabin or on a vessel operating on private property.

Indiana

.08

A first offense may lose all their driving privileges (motorized boat and motor vehicle), penalties and fines.

Children under 13 years of age are required to wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket when underway on any boat.

Iowa

.08

Boating under the influence violations will be subject to fines,

Imprisonment, and a loss of operating privileges.

 

A person shall not operate a vessel in Iowa unless every person on board the vessel who is age 12 and under is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. A life jacket must be worn when the vessel is underway, which means when a vessel is not at anchor, tied to a dock or the bank/shore or aground.

A child age 12 and under in an enclosed cabin, below deck, or aboard a commercial vessel with a capacity of 25 persons or more is exempt.

 

Kansas

.08

Violations can include imprisonment, a fine or both.

Anyone12 years old and youngermust wear a life jacket at all times when on board a boat or being towed behind the boat on skis or a tube.

Kentucky

.08

Under the influence of any substance that impairs the operator’s driving ability may be subject to fines and possible jail time.

Persons under 12 years of age must wear a PFD while in the open part of a boat that is under way.

Louisiana

.08

Penalties include suspension or revocation of boating privileges and driver's license.

Children 16 years of age and younger are required to wear a USCG-approved PFD while underway on a vessel less than 26 feet long.

Maine

.08

Penalties include fine, imprisonment, or both.

Children 10 years of age and younger are required to wear a USCG-approved PFD at all times while on board a watercraft unless the watercraft is docked, anchored, or moored.

Maryland

.08

Violators subject to misdemeanor, fine, imprisonment, or both.

 

All children under the age of 13 must WEAR a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (Type I, II, III or V) while underway on a recreational vessel under 21 feet in length on Maryland waters.

Massachusetts

.08

Penalties include the loss of a motor vehicle driver's license.

Life preservers are required to be worn by: (1) youth less than 12 years of age (2) personal watercraft users (3) waterskiers (4) canoeists/kayakers from September 15 - May 15.

Michigan

.08

Boating under the influence violators are guilty of a misdemeanor, and or a felony.

All children under 6 years of age to wear a USCG–approved Type I or II PFD when riding on the open deck of any vessel while underway.

Minnesota

.08

Violator subject to fines, fees, jail time, loss of boating privileges, and felony charges.

Children under 10 years old are required to wear a properly fitted life jacket while a boat in underway.

Mississippi

.08

Fines, or imprisonment, and violator must complete a boating safety course.

Anyone 12 years and younger must wear a Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device at all times while the vessel is underway.

Missouri

.08

A person commits the offense of boating while intoxicated if he or she operates a vessel while in an intoxicated condition. The offense of boating while intoxicated is a class B misdemeanor.

Each person under the age of seven who is on board any watercraft shall wear a personal flotation device which is approved by the United States Coast Guard. This law does not apply when the person under the age of seven is in a part of a watercraft which is fully enclosed, where such enclosure will prevent such person from falling out of or being thrown from the watercraft.

Montana

.08 and less

Subject to a fine or jail or both.

Children under 12 years of age must wear a life jacket on a boat less than 26 feet in length that is in motion.

Nebraska

.08

Subject to a fine, or jail, the loss of boating privileges, and to attend an alcoholism treatment program.

No child under 13 is allowed aboard any vessel when not wearing a Coast Guard-approved life preserver except when hunting waterfowl in an anchored boat. Operators shall be held responsible.

Nevada

.08

Subject to a fine, or jail, felony charges.

Children under age 13.

New Hampshire

.08

Subject to class B misdemeanor, fines, boating privilege suspension, driver’s license suspension, anignition interlock device (IID), and or Impaired Driver Care Management Program.

All children age 12 or under must wear an approved vest or jacket.

New Jersey

.08

Subject to fine, loss of the privilege to operate a vessel, forfeiture of your driver’s license.

Any child 12 years of age or younger must WEAR a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD whenever the vessel is underway. If the child is inside a fully enclosed cabin that is a permanent, non-removable part of the vessel that is designed to carry passengers, then the child is not required to wear the PFD.

New Mexico

.08

Subject to jail, fines, boating safety course.

A child age twelve or under who is aboard the vessel to wear a personal flotation device approved by the United States Coast Guard while the vessel is underway, unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin."

New York

.08

Subject to fines, imprisonment, suspension of operator privileges.

Children under the age of 12 aboard pleasure vessels les than 65 feet in length, canoes, kayaks, or rowboats, unless in a totally enclosed cabin. Pleasure vessels less than 21 feet in length from November 1 to May 1.

North Carolina

.08

Subject to class 2 misdemeanors, a fine and or jail.

No person may use a recreational vessel unless each child under 13 years old on board is wearing an appropriate PFD approved by the Coast Guard unless: Each child not wearing such a PFD is below decks or in an enclosed cabin. The vessel is not underway. (Vessels that are anchored or tied to shore are not underway.) This new law does not apply to commercial vessels.

North Dakota

.10

Subject to operator privileges may be revoked in addition to other penalties.

All persons 10 years of age or younger present on the vessel, wear an appropriately sized and properly fastened U.S. Coast Guard approved type I, II or III wearable personal flotation device while the vessel is in operation.

Ohio

.08

Fine and or jail.

Any child less than 10 years of age must wear a properly fitted life jacket.

Oklahoma

.08

A fine.

Children under 13 years of age must wear a PFD whenever underway on a vessel less than 26 feet in length.

Oregon

.08

Losing boat privileges and fines.

All children under 13 are required to wear a life jacket on boats less than 19 feet in length, unless in a fully enclosed area.

Pennsylvania

.02

Penalties include loss of boating privileges, significant fines and imprisonment.

Children 12 years of age and younger on Commonwealth waters when underway on any boat 20 feet or less in length and in all canoes and kayaks.

Rhode Island

.08

Fines, fees, possible jail time, loss of operating privileges, and attendance at a boating safety course.

A child under 13 years of age in a recreational vessel less than 65 feet (19.8 meters) in length on the waters of this state shall require that the child wear a wearable PFD approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while underway, unless below deck in a closed cabin.

South Carolina

.08 and less

Subject to a fine, jail, community service, imprisonment, and suspension of boating privilege.

Persons under the age of 12 must wear one at all times on vessels 16 feet in length or shorter.

South Dakota

.08

Subject to aclass 1 misdemeanor, fine, and or jail.

Children on board under seven years of age is wearing as US Coast Guard approved PFD unless the chide is within a cable or below deck.

Tennessee

.08

A fine, jail, loosing operating privileges.

Children 12 years of age and younger must wear a USCG-approved PFD at all times while on the open deck of a recreational vessel that is not anchored, moored, or aground.

Texas

.08

Fines and or jail.

Children under 13 years of age in or on vessels under 26 feet must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable PFD while underway.

Utah

.08 and less

(BUI) is the same as driving under the influence (DUI) and has the same penalties including suspension of driver license, possible jail time and fines.

Passengers, 12-years-old and younger must wear a properly sized coast guard approved life jacket whenever a boat is in operation.

Vermont

.08 and less

Subject to fines, jail time, or both; loss of operating privileges; and completion of an alcohol program.

All boaters under the age of 12 must wear an approved U.S. Coast Guard Type I, II or III life jacket while underway on an open deck of any vessel. A person under 16 years of age a board a sailboard must be wearing a Type I, II, or III U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.

Virginia

.08

Fines, and or jail time, loss of operating privileges, attendance at an alcohol safety program

any child under age 13 on the vessel unless each child is either: Wearing an appropriate life jacket approved by the Coast Guard; or

Below deck or in an enclosed cabin.

 

Washington

.08

Fine and jail.

Children ages 12 years and younger to wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket or vest on vessels less than 19 feet long.

West Virginia

.08 and less

Subject to a misdemeanor and may receive a fine and time in jail,

Children that are 12 years of age and under are required to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on the deck of any boat that is underway.

Wisconsin

.08

Fine and or time in jail, and possible completion of a boating safety course

Children under the age of 13 to wear a USCG-approved PFD while underway in an open vessel.

Wyoming

.10

Subject to a misdemeanor, time in jail, suspended boater’s operating privileges.

Children 12 years of age and under are required to wear a life jacket while the watercraft is underway.

Washington District of Columbia

.08

Fine and or time in jail.

Required when a vessel is underway, children under 13 years of age must wear their life jacket. Exceptions for when below deck or within an enclosed cabin. State laws may vary.

American Samoa Territory

.08

Revocation of motorboat license.

Children 13 years of age and under are required to wear a life jacket while the watercraft is underway.

Guam Territory

.08

Revocation of motorboat license.

Children 13 years of age and under are required to wear a life jacket while the watercraft is underway.

Northern Mariana Islands Territory

n/a

n/a

n/a

Puerto Rico Territory

n/a

n/a

Any child under 12 in a vessel while moving. All users of a PWC.

US Virgin Islands Territory

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

Tags:  boating safety  Boating Under the Influence  life jacket  Life Jacket Age Requirement  Sober Skipper 

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