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      RS 34:851.36     


§851.36. Boating safety education required

            A. Except as provided in Subsection B of this Section, no person born after January 1, 1984, shall operate a motorboat powered by a motor in excess of ten horsepower unless he has successfully completed a boating safety class approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). A person who has completed an approved boating safety class shall be in possession of evidence of such completion when operating such a boat.

            B.(1) A motorboat may be operated if any person on board or participating in any boating activity from the motorboat is over the age of eighteen and, if required to have completed a boating safety course under the provisions of Subsection A of this Section, has completed the required boating safety course.

            (2) A person who is licensed by the United States Coast Guard as a captain to operate a vessel shall be exempt from the provisions of Subsection A of this Section.

            (3) A person who is eighteen years of age or older may operate a motorboat rented from a boat livery if all of the following conditions are met:

            (a) The lessor or authorized agent of the lessor provides the person with the following instruction and materials:

            (i) Instruction in the safe and proper operation of the motorboat being rented.

            (ii) A boating safety instruction video approved by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

            (iii) The latest Department of Wildlife and Fisheries publication on recreational boating rules, regulations, and safety.

            (b) A rental contract is signed by the person and the lessor or authorized agent of the lessor that includes the following provisions:

            (i) A statement that the operator received all boating safety instruction and materials required in this Paragraph.

            (ii) A statement that the operator is not currently under suspension or revocation of the privilege to operate watercraft upon the waters of this state or any other state.

            (c) The operator keeps a copy of the rental contract in his possession at all times while operating the motorboat.

            (d) The livery retains a copy of the rental contract in its records for at least sixty days after termination of the rental and makes such records available for inspection by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

            (e) A person renting a motorboat from a livery shall only be authorized to operate such motorboat within forty-eight hours of completing the requirements of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph.

            C. A violation of this Section shall be a class one violation subject to penalties and enforcement procedures as set forth in R.S. 56:31, except that any minor charged with violating the provisions of this Section who successfully completes a NASBLA-approved boating safety class shall have the penalty waived by the court and the court shall order the violation expunged.

            Acts 2003, No. 921, §1, eff. July 1, 2003; Acts 2006, No. 281, §1; Acts 2009, No. 513, §3, eff. July 1, 2010; Acts 2011, No. 123, §1, eff. June 24, 2011; Acts 2022, No. 776, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2023.

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