Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 23: Motor Vehicles

Chapter 029: SNOWMOBILES, MOTORBOATS, AND WATER SPORTS

  • Subchapter 001: SNOWMOBILES
  • § 3201. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Commissioner" means Commissioner of Motor Vehicles unless otherwise stated.

    (2) "Department" means Department of Motor Vehicles unless otherwise stated.

    (3) "Operate" includes an attempt to operate and shall be construed to cover all matters and things connected with the presence and use of snowmobiles whether they be at motion or rest.

    (4) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources.

    (5) "Snowmobile" means a self-propelled vehicle intended for off-road travel primarily on snow, having a curb weight of not more than 793.783 kg (1,750 lbs.); driven by track or tracks in contact with the snow and steered by a ski or skis in contact with the snow. The maximum width of a snowmobile shall be no more than 48 inches. An all-terrain vehicle converted to operate with tracks shall not be considered to be a snowmobile.

    (6) "VAST" means the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers.

    (7) "Trails maintenance assessment" (TMA) means a permit issued by the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, Inc. granting use of Vermont snowmobile trails on public and private land. TMAs shall be issued in three different classifications: Vermont resident snowmobiles, nonresident snowmobiles, and commercial operation.

    (8) "Public land" means all land that is either owned or controlled by a local, State, or federal governmental body.

    (9) "Commercial operation" means the operation of a snowmobile on the SSTS by an individual participating in a guided tour or who has rented a snowmobile from an individual or corporate entity charging a fee for the tour or rental.

    (10) "Direct supervision" means sufficiently close and able to control, by communicating visually or orally, the operation of a snowmobile by an operator under 16 years of age, taking into account the noise created by snowmobiles and protective headgear worn by the operator.

    (11) "Tour" means a snowmobile ride led by a guide or leader over a defined route or routes lasting anywhere from one-half hour to less than a day, and participated in by one or more individuals that have paid a fee to an individual or corporate entity for the privilege of riding a snowmobile.

    (12) "Closed season" shall be defined as the time from April 16 to December 15. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1987, No. 76, § 18; 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1994; 1995, No. 64 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2, eff. Jan. 30, 1996; 1997, No. 3, § 1, eff. March 8, 1997; 1999, No. 20, §§ 2, 3; 2001, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. June 12, 2002; 2003, No. 116 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 2005, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 45.)

  • § 3202. Registration and TMA decal required; exceptions

    (a) Registration and decal required. A person shall not operate a snowmobile in this State unless it is registered and numbered by the State of Vermont or another state or province and displays a valid Vermont Trails Maintenance Assessment (TMA) decal adjacent to the registration decal on the left side of the snowmobile in accordance with this chapter, except when operated:

    (1) On the property of the owner of the snowmobile.

    (2) Off the highway, in a ski area while being used for the purpose of packing snow, or in rescue operations.

    (3) For official use by a federal, State, or municipal agency and only if the snowmobile is identified with the name or seal of the agency in a manner approved by the Commissioner.

    (4) Solely on privately owned land when the operator has the written consent of the owner, or his or her agent, of the property.

    (5) On frozen bodies of water as designated by the Agency of Natural Resources under the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 2607. For purposes of this subdivision, a snowmobile shall not be required to display a TMA decal if not operating on a portion of the Statewide Snowmobile Trail System. Liability insurance as provided for in subdivision 3206(b)(19) of this title and a valid registration decal are required.

    (6) For emergency use by fire service personnel.

    (7) By a person who possesses a completed TMA form processed electronically and either printed out or displayed on a portable electronic device. The printed or electronic TMA form shall be valid for 10 days after the electronic transaction. Use of a portable electronic device to display a completed TMA form does not in itself constitute consent for an enforcement officer to access other contents of the device.

    (b) Registration period. The registration year for snowmobiles is from September 1 to August 31.

    (c) Use of snowmobile on public or private lands. The registration of a snowmobile does not in and by itself constitute a license to cross or operate a snowmobile on public or private lands.

    (d) Equipment condition and number. A snowmobile which does not comply with the provisions of section 3205 of this title or which has had its motor or serial number altered may not be registered by the Commissioner.

    (e) Special decal exemptions. A snowmobile legally registered in another state or province may enter and operate in this State without a TMA decal as follows:

    (1) Using a portion of the Statewide Snowmobile Trail System, a public right-of-way open to snowmobiles, or private land that is posted open to snowmobiles, for a distance not to exceed three miles for the sole purpose of accessing the closest food, fuel, lodging, and repair services. At a point three miles from the State line, trails shall be posted "VT TMA Required Beyond This Point."

    (2) In Addison, Bennington, and Rutland Counties, from the New York border to Poultney village via corridor trail 4A (Delaware Hudson Rail Trail); from the New York border in Pawlet in the north to the New York border in the south in the town of Rupert (13 miles) along corridor trail 4; and from Lake Champlain at Benson Landing to the town of Benson via the local snowmobile trail.

    (3) For the purpose of accessing international customs services, on the so-called "Keyhole Trail," for a distance of approximately one-half mile from United States/Canadian Customs at Beecher Falls to the town line of Pittsburg, New Hampshire, and for a distance of approximately four miles via Vermont Association of Snow Travelers snowmobile corridor 105 to Canaan and to the West Stewartstown, New Hampshire bridge connecting to the New Hampshire 3A snowmobile trail on the Beecher Falls to Colebrook, New Hampshire railbed, and on immediately adjacent areas for services.

    (4) In Essex County, for a distance of approximately 18 miles to and from the New Hampshire border to the village of Beecher Falls in the town of Canaan, via Vermont Association of Snow Travelers snowmobile trails 103 to 96 to 105/96 to 105.

    (5) The Commissioner may authorize the temporary operation of snowmobiles on designated regular or temporary trails for special events.

    (f)-(h) Repealed.]

    (i) Authority of Agency of Natural Resources. Nothing in this section relating to operation on frozen bodies of water shall be construed to affect the authority of the Agency of Natural Resources to regulate uses of public bodies of water. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1987, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1989, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Feb. 23, 1990; 1991, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Feb. 21, 1992; 1993, No. 1, § 1, eff. Feb. 19, 1993; 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 1994; 1995, No. 64 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Jan. 30, 1996; 1997, No. 3, § 2, eff. March 8, 1997; 1999, No. 20, § 4; 1999, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2001, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. June 12, 2002; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 75, eff. Jan. 31, 2005; 2003, No. 116 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2011, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. May 14, 2012; 2011, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 22.)

  • § 3203. Termination of registration

    The registration of a snowmobile ends when the owner transfers title to another. The former owner shall immediately return to the Commissioner the registration certificate previously assigned to the transferred snowmobile with the date of sale, name, and residence of the new owner endorsed on the back thereof. When a person transfers the ownership of a registered snowmobile to another, files a new application, and pays a fee of $3.00, he or she may have registered in his or her name another snowmobile for the remainder of the registration year without payment of any additional registration fee. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2015, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 46.)

  • § 3204. Registration fees and dealer plates

    (a) Fees. Annual registration fees for snowmobiles other than as provided for in subsection (b) of this section are $28.00 for residents and $36.00 for nonresidents. Duplicate registration certificates may be obtained upon payment of $6.00.

    (b)(1) Dealer registration and plates; manufacturer plates; fees. A person engaged in the business of selling or exchanging snowmobiles as defined in subdivision 4(8) of this title shall register as a dealer and obtain registration certificates and identifying number plates, subject to such rules as may be adopted by the Commissioner and to the requirements of chapter 7 this title. A manufacturer of snowmobiles may register and obtain registration certificates and identifying number plates under this section. Plates shall be valid for the following purposes only: testing; adjusting; demonstrating; temporary use of customers for a period not to exceed 14 days; private business or pleasure use of such person or members of his or her immediate family; and use at fairs, shows, or races when no charge is made for such use.

    (2) Fees. Fees for dealer registration certificates shall be $55.00 for the first certificate issued to any person and $6.00 for any additional certificate issued to the same person within the current registration period. Fees for temporary number plates shall be $3.00 for each plate issued.

    (c) Temporary registration pending issuance of permanent registration. The Commissioner, by rules adopted pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, shall provide for the issuance of temporary registrations of snowmobiles pending issuance of the permanent registration. VAST shall be an agent of the Commissioner for the issuance of such temporary registrations. The fees for the temporary registrations shall be $28.00 for residents and $36.00 for nonresidents and shall also constitute payment of the registration fee required by subsection (a) of this section. VAST shall promptly remit any fees collected to the Commissioner in accordance with rules adopted under this subsection. Temporary registrations shall be kept with the snowmobile while being operated and shall authorize operation without the registration decal being affixed for a period not to exceed 60 days from the date of issue.

    (d) The Commissioner may authorize the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, or its successor, and its agents to register snowmobiles, or to renew or assist with renewal of registrations, for residents and nonresidents.

    (e) Only the General Assembly may change the fees provided for in this section. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1987, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1989, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Feb. 23, 1990; 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Nov. 1, 1994; 2001, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 29, eff. May 15, 2002; 2009, No. 50, § 57; 2011, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2015, No. 50, § 3; 2015, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 47.)

  • § 3204a. Antique snowmobiles

    (a) The one-time registration fee for a snowmobile that is at least 25 years old and is used exclusively in exhibitions, parades, and public functions shall be $50.00. The registration process for snowmobiles registered under this section shall be the same as provided in section 3204 of this title.

    (b) The owner of a snowmobile that satisfies the criteria established in subsection (a) of this section shall be entitled to display antique snowmobile plates that shall be distributed according to rules adopted by the Commissioner. (Added 1999, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2015, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 48.)

  • § 3205. Snowmobile equipment; windshield; use of headlight; illegal noise level; exemption from equipment requirement

    (a) Snowmobile; required equipment. All snowmobiles shall be equipped with one or more operational:

    (1) headlight;

    (2) red rear light;

    (3) a fully functional brake in good mechanical condition;

    (4) efficient muffler; and

    (5) such other equipment and devices as may be required to meet the noise level specifications of subsection (d) of this section.

    (b) Windshield. If the snowmobile is equipped with a windshield, it shall be free from sharp or jagged edges.

    (c) Light. Lights shall be on during operation and the lenses of headlights shall be clear, as supplied by the manufacturer, and unimpaired by the installation of colored lenses or other devices that would impair the ability of the headlight to perform to its original equipment design specifications.

    (d) Muffler devices, noise levels. Any snowmobile manufactured on or after the following dates shall be equipped with a muffler system and such other equipment or devices which reduce maximum machine operating noise to a noise level of not more than:

    (1) as of September 1, 1972, 82 decibels on the A scale at 50 feet, in a normal operating environment;

    (2) as of September 1, 1973, at such level as established by the Commissioner by rule except that the level may not exceed the level established in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

    (e) Prohibited sale; illegal noise level; notice to consumer. No person shall sell for operation, or offer to sell for operation within the State of Vermont:

    (1) A snowmobile manufactured after the dates specified in subsection (d) of this section unless it complies with the sound requirements specified in subsection (d) of this section.

    (2) No snowmobile shall be equipped in any manner which permits the operator thereof to bypass the muffler system.

    (3) Replacement exhaust muffler. No person shall sell or offer to sell a replacement exhaust muffler system which will not meet or exceed the exhaust noise reduction capabilities of the snowmobile manufacturer's original equipment specifications for the snowmobile.

    (4) Consumer information on noise levels. Any person selling or offering to sell a snowmobile or replacement muffler system shall include in the specifications thereof precise information concerning the designed maximum sound levels of the snowmobile or replacement muffler system.

    (f) Exemption from equipment requirements; racing contest. This section shall not apply to any snowmobile entered in a racing contest sponsored by a racing or snowmobile club, organization, or association during the period the snowmobile is actually participating in or practicing or preparing for a racing event at an area especially provided for the purpose. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Nov. 1, 1994; 2001, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 12, 2002; 2015, No. 47, § 46.)

  • § 3206. Operation on and across public highways, sidewalks; age restrictions; private lands; prohibited areas and prohibited methods of operation; reckless operation; SWI; financial responsibility; trail access limited; head and face protection

    (a) A person shall operate, or cause to be operated, a snowmobile only in accordance with this chapter.

    (b) A snowmobile shall not be operated:

    (1) Across or on a plowed public highway unless:

    (A) the crossing is made at an angle of approximately 90 degrees to the direction of the highway and at a place where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing; and

    (B) the operator brings the snowmobile to a complete stop before entering the travelled portion of the highway; and

    (C) the operator yields the right of way to motor vehicles and pedestrians using the highway; and

    (D) the operator is 16 years of age or older. If the operator is under 16 years of age but at least 12 years of age that operator must be under the direct supervision of a person 18 years of age or older.

    (2) On a public highway, unless it is not being maintained and plowed for use by motor vehicles during the snow season.

    (3) On a public highway, unless the operator is not closer than five feet from the plowed portion. However, this section shall not apply to class IV roads or trails that are privately maintained or plowed.

    (4) On a public highway, unless the highway has been opened to snowmobile travel by the selectmen or trustees or local governing body and is so posted by the municipality.

    (5) On any privately owned land or body of private water unless:

    (A) the operator is the owner, or member of the immediate family of the owner or lessee of the land or private body of water; or

    (B) the operator has, on his or her person, the written consent of the owner or lessee of the land to operate a snowmobile in the specific area in which the operator is operating, or the snowmobile displays a valid TMA decal as required by subsection 3202(a) of this title that serves as proof that the snowmobile and its operator by virtue of the TMA are members of a VAST-affiliated snowmobile club to which such consent has been given orally or in writing; or

    (C) the owner of the land has designated the area for use by snowmobiles by posting the area in a manner approved by the Secretary to give reasonable notice that snowmobiling is permitted.

    (6) On any public land, body of public water, or natural area established under the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 2607, or other State, federal statute, or municipal ordinance, unless the Secretary has designated such area for use by snowmobiles in manners chosen by the Secretary or other public land manager.

    (7) By a child under eight years of age unless he or she is on land owned by his or her parents, family, or legal guardian.

    (8) By a person born after July 1, 1983, on private or public land and water without first obtaining a certificate of snowmobile education, unless he or she is operating on land owned, leased, or farmed by his or her parents, family, or guardian or the operator is the land owner.

    (A) A person who is required to have a certificate of snowmobile education shall:

    (i) possess the certificate when operating a snowmobile on public or private lands and waters of the State; and

    (ii) show the certificate on demand of an enforcement officer wearing an insignia identifying him or her as a law enforcement officer. However, no person charged with violating this subdivision shall be convicted if the person produces in court, to the officer, or to a State's Attorney, a certificate which was valid at the time the violation occurred.

    (B) The following persons are exempt from the requirements of this subdivision:

    (i) a person is operating on land owned by his or her parents, family, or guardian or the operator is the landowner;

    (ii) any other person exempted by rules of the Department of Public Safety;

    (iii) any person who is under the direct supervision of a certified snowmobile safety instructor;

    (iv) a child not yet 12 years of age, but not younger than eight when under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian who shall be liable for the actions of the child.

    (C) The Department of Public Safety shall adopt rules:

    (i) That establish criteria for a course of instruction in snowmobile safety education.

    (ii) Relating to transient snowmobilers.

    (iii) To administer a verbal test when appropriate.

    (iv) To coordinate a statewide program of snowmobile safety instruction and certification and ensure that a course of safety education is available within each county.

    (v) That a course of snowmobile safety education is available at the age of eight. Any child eight years of age but not yet 12 who passes the course may operate a snowmobile only when under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian who shall be liable for the actions of the child.

    (D) Any course of snowmobile safety education that is offered shall provide a minimum of six hours of instruction.

    (E) Any State-certified instructor may offer a course of instruction in snowmobile safety education approved by the Department of Public Safety.

    (F) The Department of Public Safety or its designee shall issue a certificate of snowmobile safety education to a person who:

    (i) passes a departmentally prescribed course of snowmobile safety education; or

    (ii) passes a snowmobile safety equivalency examination administered by persons authorized to offer a course of snowmobile safety education.

    (G) Upon request, the Department of Public Safety shall provide, without charge, snowmobile safety education materials to persons who plan to take the snowmobile safety equivalency examination.

    (H) Once issued, the certificate of snowmobile education is valid for the lifetime of the person to whom it was issued and may not be revoked by the Department of Public Safety or a court of law.

    (I) The Department of Public Safety shall replace, without charge, a lost or destroyed certificate if the Department issued the certificate or has a record that the certificate was issued.

    (J) A snowmobile safety certificate issued in another state or country in accordance with or substantially equivalent to criteria of the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators is sufficient to comply with the requirements of this section.

    (9)(A) In any manner intended or could reasonably be expected to, harass, drive, or pursue any wildlife; or

    (B) In any manner intended to cause an animal undue pain or suffering.

    (10) If the registration certificate or written consent is not available for inspection and the registration number, or plate of a size and type approved by the Commissioner, and TMA decal are not displayed on the snowmobile in a manner approved by the Commissioner. However, a TMA decal need not be displayed if the operator possesses a completed TMA form in accordance with subdivision 3202(a)(7) of this title.

    (11) While the operator is under the influence of drugs or intoxicating liquor as defined in section 3207a of this title.

    (12) In a reckless manner so as to endanger a person or property.

    (13) Within any cemetery, public or private, as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 5302.

    (14) On limited access highways, rights-of-way, or approaches unless permitted by the Agency of Transportation. In no case shall snowmobiling be permitted on any portion of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways unless the Agency of Transportation permits operation on such highways.

    (15) On a sidewalk unless permitted by the selectmen or trustees or the local governing body.

    (16) While the person's privilege to operate a snowmobile has been suspended.

    (17) In an unreasonable or imprudent manner, and:

    (A) No person shall drive a snowmobile on the Statewide Snowmobile Trail System or a public right-of-way, open to snowmobiling, at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions, having regard for the actual and potential hazards there existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as necessary to avoid collision with any person, vehicle, snowmobile, or other object on or adjacent to the snowmobile trail.

    (B) The operator of every snowmobile shall drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding trail, and when a special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic by reason of weather or trail conditions.

    (C) Snowmobiles operating on a public right-of-way open to snowmobiling shall comply with the provisions established in sections 1003, 1007, and 1008 of this title.

    (D) The maximum speed limit on State lands and public waters shall be determined by the Agency of Natural Resources.

    (E) Any law enforcement officer or emergency personnel may disregard speed regulations in accordance with section 1015 of this title.

    (18) In a commercial manner unless the individual or entity offering the snowmobile for rent or hired for tour, complies with the following:

    (A) On any privately owned land or body of private water, unless the individual or entity offering a snowmobile for commercial operation has first obtained the written consent of the snowmobile club responsible for obtaining landowner permission for snowmobile trails and for trail maintenance in that area with consent from the proper owner over whose property the trail passes.

    (B) For commercial purposes, on any public land, body of public water, or natural area, unless the individual or entity has first obtained the written consent of the snowmobile club responsible for trail maintenance, and the Secretary or other public land manager has designated such area for use by snowmobiles in a manner chosen by the Secretary or public land manager to give reasonable notice that snowmobiling is permitted. The commercial operation of snowmobiles on public land or public water shall be by permit or license issued by the Secretary or public land manager in a manner chosen by the Secretary or public land manager.

    (C) A commercial snowmobile operating on any private or public land, private or public water or natural area shall display a commercial TMA.

    (D) A commercial snowmobile operating on any private or public land, private or public water or natural area shall display a decal or flag identifying the individual or entity that owns the snowmobile.

    (19) Without liability insurance as described in this subdivision. No owner or operator of a snowmobile shall operate or permit the operation of the snowmobile on the Statewide Snowmobile Trail System or public right of way, except on the property of the owner, without having in effect a liability policy or bond in the amounts of at least $25,000.00 for one person and $50,000.00 for two or more persons killed or injured and $10,000.00 for damages to property in any one accident. In lieu thereof, evidence of self-insurance in the amount of $115,000.00 must be filed with the Commissioner. Such financial responsibility shall be maintained and evidenced in a form prescribed by the Commissioner. The standards and process established in subsection 801(c) of this title shall be adopted.

    (20) On the Statewide Snowmobile Trail System or on a public right-of-way after the hour of 11:00 p.m. and before the hour of 6:00 a.m., if requested by the landowner or ordered by a town or municipality through ordinance, unless the operation is more than 500 feet from a residence or residences or the operation is taking place to groom the trail. All trails impacted by this subdivision shall be posted to indicate that they are closed between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

    (21) Without proper head and face protection.

    (A) No person shall operate, ride in or on a snowmobile or on a sled or device pulled by a snowmobile on the Statewide Snowmobile Trail System (SSTS) without wearing, upon his or her head, protective headgear of a type approved by the Commissioner, unless the operator of the snowmobile is in the process of grooming the trail. The headgear shall be equipped with a strap to secure the headgear in place.

    (B) No person shall operate a snowmobile on the SSTS that is not equipped with a factory-installed or approved factory or aftermarket replacement windshield that adequately protects the operator's face, or the operator shall wear eyeglasses, goggles, or a protective face shield.

    (22) During the closed season on the Statewide Snowmobile Trail System or any public land, except for the following purposes:

    (A) grooming operations;

    (B) trail maintenance; or

    (C) search and rescue operations conducted by law enforcement officers defined in subdivision 3302(2) of this title or emergency medical personnel defined in 24 V.S.A. § 2651(6) or emergency use by fire service personnel defined in 20 V.S.A. § 3151 or private individuals who are assisting such officers or personnel.

    (23) During the open season when the Statewide Snowmobile Trail System has not been officially opened by the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, Inc., due to lack of snow or for temporary closures caused by lack of snow or dangerous trail conditions, except for the following purposes:

    (A) grooming operations;

    (B) trail maintenance; or

    (C) search and rescue operations conducted by law enforcement officers defined in subdivision 3302(2) of this title or emergency medical personnel defined in 24 V.S.A. § 2651(6) or emergency use by fire service personnel defined in 20 V.S.A. § 3151 or private individuals who are assisting such officers or personnel.

    (c) It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution for trespass under subdivision (b)(5) of this section that the operator of the snowmobile was unable, after a reasonable diligent search, to locate, within the State of Vermont, a person with authority to grant or deny such permission.

    (d)(1) No public or private landowner or their agents shall be liable for any property damage or personal injury sustained by any person operating or riding as a passenger on a snowmobile, or upon a vehicle or other device drawn by a snowmobile upon the public or private landowner's property, whether or not the public or private landowner has given permission to use the land, unless the public or private landowner charges a cash fee to the operator or owner of the snowmobile for the use of the property, or unless the damage or injury is intentionally inflicted by the landowner.

    (2) If VAST has exercised reasonable care in marking the boundaries of the SSTS, it shall not be liable for ordinary negligence for any property damage or personal injury sustained by any person which arises from operation of a snowmobile outside the SSTS. However, VAST's liability shall not be limited under this subdivision if an operator leaves the SSTS because of an unsafe condition on the SSTS and the damage or injury occurs before the operator is able to return safely to the SSTS. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1987, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1989, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. Nov. 1, 1994; 1995, No. 64 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Jan. 30, 1996; 1999, No. 20, §§ 5-7; 2001, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. June 12, 2002; 2003, No. 116 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3, 5; 2015, No. 47, § 47; 2015, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 3207. Penalties and revocation of registration; SWI; privilege; suspension; criminal penalty

    (a) A person who violates any of the following sections of this title shall be subject to a fine of $35.00 for each violation:

        § 3203             failure to return transferred registration

        § 3205(a)-(c)             operation with defective or inadequate equipment, except improper muffling device

        § 3205(e)             sale of a snowmobile for operation without required equipment; improper operation; permitting improper operation

        § 3206(b)(8)             by a person under 12

        § 3206(b)(1)(D)             by a person under age 16

        § 3206(b)(10)             display of registration plate

    (b) A person who violates any of the following sections of this title shall be subject to a fine of $55.00 for each violation:

        § 3206(b)(1)             on a public highway

        § 3206(b)(2), (3)             on a plowed highway

        § 3206(b)(4)             on a municipal highway

        § 3206(b)(13)             in cemeteries

        § 3206(b)(14)             interstate and limited access highways

        § 3206(b)(15)             sidewalks

    (c) A person who violates any of the following sections of this title shall be subject to a fine of $135.00 for each violation:

        § 3202             operation of an unregistered snowmobile

        § 3205(a)             alterations made to headlight lenses

        § 3206(a)             permitting operation of an unregistered snowmobile

        § 3206(b)(6)             natural area

        § 3206(b)(20)             trail access limited

        § 3206(b)(21)             failure to wear proper protective headgear

    (d) A person who violates any of the following sections of this title shall be subject to a fine of $300.00 for each violation:

        § 3204(b)             misuse of manufacturer's/seller's registration

        § 3206(b)(5)             private land or private body of water

        § 3206(b)(16)             operation after privilege suspended

        § 3206(b)(17)             operation of a snowmobile in unreasonable manner

        § 3206(b)(18)(C)             display of improper TMA by a snowmobile used in a commercial operation

        § 3206(b)(18)(D)             failure to display commercial identification

        § 3209             defacing numbers on snowmobiles

        § 3209a             defacing trail signs

    (e) A person who violates any of the following sections of this title shall be subject to a fine of up to $500.00 for each violation:

        § 3205(d)             operation with an improper muffling device

        § 3206(b)(19)             liability insurance

        § 3206(b)(22)             operation of a snowmobile in closed or open

        and (23)             season

        § 3206(b)(9)(A)             harassing wildlife

    (f) A person who violates any of the following provisions of this title shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both. If the person has been previously convicted of the same violation, the person shall be imprisoned for not more than two years or fined not more than $3,000.00, or both:

        § 3206(b)(9)(B)             intentionally causing animal pain or suffering

        § 3206(b)(12)             reckless operation

        § 3211             leaving scene of an accident

        § 3212             attempting to elude law enforcement officer

    (g) Defective, stolen, or fraudulently registered snowmobile; registration revocation or suspension. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles or his or her authorized agent may suspend or revoke the registration of any snowmobile registered in this State and repossess the number and certificate to it, when he or she is satisfied that:

    (1) a snowmobile has been stolen;

    (2) the registrant is not the legal owner;

    (3) a snowmobile is operated without proper equipment after the owner has been notified by a law enforcement officer to procure and use such equipment as is required by law or Department rules; or

    (4) the owner of a snowmobile has perpetrated some fraud upon the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    (h) Fines established under this section shall be mandatory, and may not be reduced. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1991, No. 165 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. Nov. 1, 1994; 1999, No. 20, §§ 8, 11; 2001, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 5, 6, eff. June 12, 2002; 2003, No. 116 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.)

  • § 3207a. Operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; SWI

    (a) A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of a snowmobile on any lands, waters, or public highways of this State:

    (1) when the person's alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more; or

    (2) when the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or

    (3) when the person is under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely operating a snowmobile.

    (b) A person who is a habitual user of or under the influence of any narcotic drug or who is under the influence of any other drug, substance or inhalant other than intoxicating liquor to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely operating a snowmobile may not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of a snowmobile.

    (c) The fact that a person charged with a violation of this section is or has been entitled to use such drug under the laws of this State shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this section.

    (d) A person may not be convicted of more than one offense under this section arising out of the same incident.

    (e) As used in this section, "intoxicating liquor" includes "alcohol," "malt beverages," "spirituous liquors," and "vinous beverages" as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 2, and any beverage or liquid containing any of them.

    (f) As used in this section, "drug" means a regulated drug as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 4201.

    (g) If a person violates this section on a public highway, that person may be convicted of a violation of this section or a violation of section 1201 of this title, but not both.

    (h) Any person who is convicted of violating this section shall have his or her privilege to operate a snowmobile suspended for a period of one year and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title. Additionally, a person convicted of violating the provisions of this section shall be penalized under the provisions of section 1210 of this title. (Added 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. Nov. 1, 1994; amended 1999, No. 20, § 10; 2003, No. 116 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)

  • § 3207b. Preliminary screening device

    When a law enforcement officer has reason to believe that a person may be violating or has violated section 3207a of this title, the officer may request the person to provide a sample of breath for a preliminary screening test using a device approved by the Commissioner of Health for this purpose. The person shall not have the right to consult an attorney prior to submitting to this preliminary breath alcohol screening test. The results of this preliminary screening test may be used for the purpose of deciding whether an arrest should be made and whether to request an evidentiary test and shall not be used in any court proceeding except on those issues. Following the screening test, additional tests may be required of the operator pursuant to the provisions of section 1202 of this title. (Added 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. Nov. 1, 1994.)

  • § 3207c. Implied consent

    Any person who operates, attempts to operate, or is in actual physical control of a snowmobile on any lands, waters, or public highways of this State is deemed to have given consent to the taking of more than one sample of his or her breath or blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood. The samples shall be taken and the tests administered and analyzed consistently with the provisions of sections 1202, 1203, and 1203a of this title. (Added 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. Nov. 1, 1994.)

  • § 3207d. Permissive inferences

    Upon the trial of any civil or criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed by a person while operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a snowmobile on any lands, waters, or public highways of this State, the person's alcohol concentration shall give rise to the following permissive inferences:

    (1) If the person's alcohol concentration at that time was less than 0.08, such fact shall not give rise to any presumption or permissive inference that the person was or was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor, but such fact may be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

    (2) If the person's alcohol concentration at that time was 0.08 or more, it shall be a permissive inference that the person was under the influence of intoxicating liquor in violation of subdivision 3207a(a)(2) or (3) of this title.

    (3) If the person's alcohol concentration at any time within two hours of the alleged offense was 0.10 or more, it shall be a permissive inference that the person was under the influence of intoxicating liquor in violation of subdivision 3207a(a)(2) or (3) of this title. (Added 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. Nov. 1, 1994.)

  • § 3207e. Refusal to submit to test

    If the person refuses to submit to an evidentiary test it shall not be given, but the refusal may be introduced as evidence in a criminal proceeding. (Added 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. Nov. 1, 1994.)

  • § 3207f. Persons under 21; alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more

    (a) A person under the age of 21 who operates, attempts to operate, or is in actual physical control of a snowmobile on any lands, waters, or public highways of this State when the person's alcohol concentration is 0.02 or more, commits a civil traffic violation subject to the jurisdiction of the Judicial Bureau and subject to the following sanctions:

    (1) For a first violation, the person's privilege to operate a snowmobile on any lands, waters, or public highways of this State shall be suspended for six months and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title.

    (2) For a second or subsequent violation, the person's privilege to operate a snowmobile on any lands, waters, or public highways of this State shall be suspended until the person reaches the age of 21 or for one year, whichever is longer, and complies with section 1209a of this title.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions in subsection (a) of this section to the contrary, a person's privilege to operate that has been suspended under this section shall not be reinstated until the Commissioner has received satisfactory evidence that the provider of the therapy program has been paid in full.

    (c) If a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is violating this section, the officer may request the person to submit to a breath test using a preliminary screening device approved by the Commissioner of Health. Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in sections 1202 and 1203 of this title:

    (1) the results of the test shall be admissible evidence in a proceeding under this section; and

    (2) there shall be no statutory right to counsel prior to the administration of the test.

    (d) A refusal to submit to an evidentiary test shall be considered a violation of this section.

    (e) In a proceeding under this section, if there was at any time within two hours of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control of a snowmobile on the lands, waters, or public highways of this State an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person's alcohol concentration was 0.02 or more at the time of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control.

    (f) The alcohol program required under this section shall be administered by the Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs and shall take into consideration any particular treatment needs of operators under the age of 21.

    (g) A charge of violating this section shall not bar prosecution for any crime, including a prosecution under section 3207a of this title. (Added 1997, No. 57, § 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; amended 1997, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 28.)

  • § 3208. Administration and enforcement

    (a) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall administer the provisions of this subchapter, except as otherwise provided, and may adopt rules prescribing forms and procedures for application and registration as necessary to carry its provisions into effect.

    (b) The Secretary of Natural Resources shall provide to the Agency of Transportation a list of public lands, public waters and natural areas on or over which a snowmobile may not be operated. The information provided shall be incorporated in the booklet made available pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

    (c) This chapter and rules adopted under this chapter, together with the list provided by the Secretary of Natural Resources, shall be printed in booklet form and made available to the public by the Agency of Transportation.

    (d) The provisions of this subchapter and the rules adopted pursuant thereto shall be enforced by law enforcement officers as defined in section 3302 of this title in accordance with the provisions of 12 V.S.A. chapter 193.

    (e) Law enforcement officers as defined in section 3302 of this title, in accordance with the provisions of 12 V.S.A. chapter 193, may conduct safety inspections on snowmobiles stopped for other snowmobile law violations on the Statewide Snowmobile Trail System. Safety inspections may also be conducted in a designated area by law enforcement officials. A designated area shall be warned solely by blue lights either on a stationary snowmobile parked on a trail or on a cruiser parked at a roadside trail crossing. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. June 21, 1994; 2003, No. 116 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.)

  • § 3209. Defacing manufacturer identification and serial numbers

    A person shall not willfully change or attempt to change, or tamper with, obliterate, deface, or in any manner interfere with the original or assigned motor number or manufacturer's serial number of any snowmobile. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. Nov. 1, 1994.)

  • § 3209a. Placing and defacing trail signs

    (a) A landowner or VAST may place snowmobile trail signs, markers, or posters on or adjacent to a snowmobile trail maintained by VAST if the landowner has granted permission for use of the land and for placement of the signs, marker, or posters.

    (b) A person may not remove, deface, alter, or destroy trail signs, markers, or posters erected pursuant to subsection (a) of this section without the permission of VAST.

    (c) The provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall not prevent a landowner from removing signs, markers, or posters that have been erected without permission of the landowner, or which remain on the property after permission has been withdrawn. (Added 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 14, eff. Nov. 1, 1994.)

  • § 3210. Municipal ordinances

    Municipalities shall have the power to adopt ordinances pursuant to 24 V.S.A. chapter 59 for the purpose of regulating the time, manner, and location of operation of snowmobiles within their limits provided such ordinances do not controvert the provisions of this subchapter. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 3211. Accidents; duty to stop and report

    (a) The operator of a snowmobile who has caused or is involved in an accident resulting in injury to any person or property, other than the snowmobile then under his or her control, shall immediately stop and render such assistance as may be reasonably necessary. The operator shall give his or her name, residence, registration number, and the name of the owner of the snowmobile to the party whose person or property is injured.

    (b) The operator of a snowmobile involved in an accident resulting in death or injury to any person, or damage to property other than the snowmobile he or she is operating, in excess of $500.00, shall immediately notify a law enforcement officer and file a report of the incident with the Commissioner within 72 hours, on forms prescribed by the Commissioner. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. Nov. 1, 1994.)

  • § 3212. Attempting to elude a law enforcement officer

    An operator of a snowmobile shall bring the snowmobile to a stop and not attempt to elude a law enforcement officer when signaled to do so by a law enforcement officer wearing insignia identifying him or her as such, or operating a law enforcement vehicle or snowmobile sounding a siren or displaying a flashing blue or blue and white signal lamp. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 16, eff. Nov. 1, 1994.)

  • § 3213. Proof of payment of tax

    (a) No license, permits, registration, or similar authorization to own or operate any snowmobile shall be issued under this subchapter until proof of payment of or exemption from the tax imposed by 32 V.S.A. chapter 233 has been established in the manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Taxes.

    (b) A current or expired registration certificate, or other acceptable proof from the state or province of residence shall suffice as proof of payment of the tax referred to in subsection (a) of this section for persons applying for nonresident registration in this State. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1987, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. June 21, 1994.)

  • § 3214. Allocation of fees and penalties; liability insurance; authority to contract for law enforcement services

    (a) The amount of $5.00 from the sale of every resident and nonresident snowmobile registration shall be allocated to the Transportation Fund. The balance of fees and penalties collected under this subchapter, except interest, shall be remitted to the Agency of Natural Resources, which may retain for its use up to $11,500.00 during each fiscal year for oversight of the Statewide Snowmobile Trail Program, and the remainder shall be allocated to VAST for:

    (1) Development and maintenance of the Statewide Snowmobile Trail Program (SSTP).

    (2) Procuring trails' liability insurance in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

    (3) Contracting for law enforcement services with any constable, sheriff's department, municipal police department, the Department of Public Safety, or the Department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter. The allocation for snowmobile law enforcement services shall be an amount equal to $5.00 from the sale of every resident and nonresident snowmobile registration. If this allocation for law enforcement services is not fully expended, the unexpended amount carried forward may be used to purchase capital equipment to aid law enforcement in the provision of services. VAST shall include proposed spending on law enforcement services and on capital equipment as part of the annual expenditure plan required by section 3215 of this chapter. The Departments of Public Safety and of Fish and Wildlife are authorized to contract with VAST to provide law enforcement services.

    (b) VAST shall purchase a trails' liability insurance policy in the amount of $1,000,000.00. The State of Vermont shall be named an additional insured. The policy shall extend to all VAST affiliated snowmobile clubs and their respective employees and agents to provide for trails' liability coverage for development and maintenance of the Statewide Snowmobile Trail Program, including groomer use and operation. The Office of the Secretary of Administration shall assist VAST with the procurement of trails liability and other related insurance.

    (c) Nothing contained in this section shall authorize or create any cause of action to accrue or to be maintained against the State of Vermont.

    (d) Any fees and penalties allocated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall not revert but shall be available until spent. Any accrued interest shall be deposited in the Transportation Fund. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1987, No. 89, § 313; 1987, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 18, eff. June 21, 1994: 1995, No. 63, § 214, eff. May 4, 1995; 2005, No. 215 (Adj. Sess.), § 281; 2009, No. 50, § 60; 2011, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2013, No. 50, § E.101.5; 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 23.)

  • § 3215. Expenditure plan

    VAST shall prepare a plan for the expenditure of funds for the SSTP that are allocated in section 3214 of this title and shall submit this plan to the Governor's Snowmobile Council for its review, advice, and consent. The plan shall include provisions for:

    (1) administration of the program;

    (2) trail development and maintenance including contractual arrangements where appropriate; and

    (3) periodic audits if requested by the Council or Auditor of Accounts. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 19, eff. June 21, 1994; 2005, No. 93 (Adj. Sess.), § 81.)

  • § 3216. Governor's Snowmobile Council

    (a)(1) The Governor's Snowmobile Council is created. The members of the Council shall consist of:

    (A) the President or designee of VAST;

    (B) the Secretary of Natural Resources or designee;

    (C) the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife or designee;

    (D) the Commissioner of Public Safety or designee;

    (E) the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles or designee;

    (F) the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation or designee;

    (G) the President of the Vermont Sheriffs' Association or designee;

    (H) the President of the Vermont Chiefs of Police Association or designee;

    (I) five members appointed by the Governor to represent geographic regions of the State;

    (J) one member of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House; and

    (K) one member of the Senate appointed by the Committee on Committees.

    (2) The Chair shall be appointed by the Governor.

    (b) The Council shall serve the following functions:

    (1) to review, advise, and consent on development of the annual plan for the expenditure of funds for the Statewide Snowmobile Trail Program;

    (2) to review and advise the Governor and General Assembly on matters relating to snowmobiling in Vermont, including environmental and community impacts, development of snowmobile trails, ways to encourage snowmobile traffic in those communities that seek more traffic and control the growth in municipalities that desire less traffic, adequacy of parking areas, carrying capacity of trails, State laws and rules affecting snowmobilers, and promoting snowmobiling in this State;

    (3) to help coordinate efforts of VAST and State and federal agencies, private industry, and nonprofit organizations in meeting the needs of snowmobilers in Vermont;

    (4) to perform any other duties or functions regarding snowmobiling assigned by the Governor; and

    (5) to assure that municipal legislative bodies are given advance notice and an opportunity for input before trail or parking lot expansion takes place in the community.

    (c) The members appointed by the Governor shall serve for two-year terms and all others shall serve the term of their office.

    (d) The Council may designate technical work groups, composed of representatives of appropriate public agencies, private organizations, and individuals, to assist in the collection, study, and evaluation of information and to advise the Council on particular issues.

    (e)(1) The appointed members of the Council and the President or designee of VAST shall be entitled to compensation at the rate provided for in 32 V.S.A. § 1010. Expenditures shall be paid from snowmobile funds appropriated to the Agency of Natural Resources for administration of the program.

    (2) Legislative members shall be entitled to compensation and reimbursement of expenses as provided for by 2 V.S.A. § 406.

    (3) Technical work group members shall not be entitled to compensation or reimbursement of expenses.

    (f) The Council is attached to the Office of the Secretary of Natural Resources for administrative support. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1987, No. 76, § 18; 1993, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 21, eff. Nov. 1, 1994; 1999, No. 20, § 9; 2001, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. June 12, 2002; 2013, No. 19, § 1, eff. May 7, 2013.)

  • § 3217. Liability insurance; trail maintenance

    The State may extend coverage of its liability insurance to parties under contract with the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation for development and maintenance of the snowmobile trail system. Insurance coverage shall match the State's current financial liability limits and shall be limited to those activities defined by the development and maintenance contract. The Secretary of Administration shall pay for this extended coverage with funds from snowmobile registration receipts. (Added 1987, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 2013, No. 50, § E.101.6.)

  • § 3218. Law enforcement officer's testimony

    In any proceeding under this subchapter, a law enforcement officer's testimony that he or she is certified pursuant to 20 V.S.A. § 2358 shall be prima facie evidence of that fact. (Added 1999, No. 20, § 12.)

  • § 3219. Administrative penalties

    (a) The Commissioner may impose an administrative penalty of not more than $250.00 against VAST or its agent for each violation of this subchapter or the rules adopted thereunder. A penalty arising from a single violation may be assessed against VAST or its agent, as may be appropriate, but not against both.

    (b) Each violation is a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day's continuance may be deemed a separate and distinct offense. In no event shall the maximum penalty imposed for a continuing offense exceed $500.00.

    (c) The Commissioner shall adopt rules establishing a schedule of administrative penalties to be imposed under this section. Penalties shall be based on the severity and frequency of the violation.

    (d) VAST or its agent shall be given notice and opportunity for a hearing on any alleged violation. Service of the notice shall be sent by first class mail. The notice shall include the following:

    (1) a factual description of the alleged violation;

    (2) a reference to the particular statute or rule allegedly violated;

    (3) the amount of the proposed administrative penalty; and

    (4) a warning that the right to a hearing will be deemed waived and a penalty will be imposed if no hearing is requested within 15 days from the date of the notice, and that failure to pay a penalty may result in suspension or cancellation of the privilege of issuing registrations pursuant to the provisions of section 3204 of this title by VAST or its agent.

    (e) When VAST or its agent receives notice under subsection (d) of this section, it shall be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing unless, within 15 days from the date of the notice, a hearing is requested in writing. If the right to a hearing is waived, the Commissioner shall issue a final order finding VAST or its agent in default and imposing the penalty.

    (f) The provisions of sections 105, 106, and 107 of this title shall apply to hearings conducted under this section.

    (g) The Commissioner may collect an unpaid administrative penalty by filing a civil action in Superior Court, or through any other means available to State agencies.

    (h) If a penalty is not paid within 60 days after it is imposed, the Commissioner may suspend or cancel the privilege of issuing registrations granted to VAST or its agent under the provisions of section 3204 of this title.

    (i) The remedies authorized by this section shall be in addition to any other civil or criminal remedies provided by law for a violation of this subchapter.

    (j) All penalties collected under this section shall be deposited in the Transportation Fund. (Added 2011, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 11.)


  • Subchapter 002: MOTORBOATS
  • § 3301. Declaration of policy

    It is the policy of this State to promote safety for persons and property in and connected with the use, operation, and equipment of vessels and to promote uniformity of laws relating thereto. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 3302. Definitions

    As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

    (1) "Holding tank" means a container or device designed to provide for the retention of wastes on board a vessel and to prevent the discharge of wastes into the waters of this State.

    (2) "Law enforcement officer" shall mean a person designated in subdivision 4(11) of this title, and shall include deputy State game wardens and auxiliary State police officers.

    (3) "Marine toilet" means any toilet on or within any vessel except those that have been permanently sealed and made inoperative.

    (4) "Motorboat" means any vessel propelled by machinery, whether or not such machinery is the principal source of propulsion, but shall not include a vessel which has a valid marine document issued by the Bureau of Customs of the United States government or any federal agency successor thereto.

    (5) "Operate" means to navigate or otherwise use a motorboat or vessel.

    (6) "Owner" means a person, other than a lienholder, having the property in or title to a motorboat. The term includes a person entitled to the use or possession of a motorboat subject to an interest in another person, reserved or created by agreement and securing payment or performance of an obligation, but the term excludes a lessee under a lease not intended as security.

    (7) "Person" means an individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association, or other entity.

    (8) "Personal watercraft" means a Class A vessel which uses an inboard engine powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power and which is designed to be operated by a person or persons sitting, standing, or kneeling on, or being towed behind the vessel rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.

    (9) "Public waters of the State" means navigable waters as defined in 10 V.S.A. chapter 49, excepting those waters in private ponds and private preserves as set forth in 10 V.S.A. §§ 5204, 5205, 5206, and 5210.

    (10) "Racing shell or rowing scull" means a manually propelled vessel that is recognized by national or international racing associations for use in competitive racing, and one in which all occupants row or scull, with the exception of a coxswain, if one is provided, and is not designed to carry and does not carry any equipment not solely for competitive racing.

    (11) "Sailboard" means a sailboat whose unsupported mast is attached to a surfboard-like hull by a flexible joint.

    (12) "Vessel" means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water or a racing shell or rowing scull occupied exclusively by persons over 12 years of age, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.

    (13) "Waste" means effluent, sewage, or any substance or material, liquid, gaseous, solid, or radioactive, including heated liquids, whether or not harmful or deleterious to waters of this State.

    (14) "Waters of this State" means any waters within the territorial limits of this State. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1989, No. 65, § 1; 2001, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 9.)

  • § 3303. Operation of unnumbered motorboats prohibited

    Except for motorboats exempt from numbering under subdivisions 3307(a)(2)-(4) of this title, every motorboat on the waters of this State shall be numbered. A person shall not operate or give permission for the operation of any motorboat on such waters unless the motorboat is numbered in accordance with this subchapter, or in accordance with applicable federal law, or in accordance with a federally approved numbering system of another state, and unless:

    (1) the certificate of number awarded to such motorboat is currently valid; and

    (2) the identifying number set forth in the certificate of number is displayed on each side of the bow of such motorboat. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2015, No. 47, § 48.)

  • § 3304. Classification

    Motorboats subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be divided into four classes as follows:

    Class A. Less than 16 feet in length.

    Class 1. 16 feet or over and less than 26 feet in length.

    Class 2. 26 feet or over and less than 40 feet in length.

    Class 3. 40 feet or over. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 3305. Fees

    (a) A person shall not operate a motorboat on the public waters of this State unless the motorboat is registered in accordance with this chapter.

    (b) Annually or biennially, the owner of each motorboat required to be registered by this State shall file an application for a number with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles on forms approved by him or her. The application shall be signed by the owner of the motorboat and shall be accompanied by an annual fee of $31.00, or a biennial fee of $57.00, for a motorboat in class A; by an annual fee of $49.00, or a biennial fee of $93.00, for a motorboat in class 1; by an annual fee of $80.00, or a biennial fee of $155.00, for a motorboat in class 2; by an annual fee of $153.00, or a biennial fee of $303.00, for a motorboat in class 3. Upon receipt of the application in approved form, the Commissioner shall enter the application upon the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles and issue to the applicant a registration certificate stating the number awarded to the motorboat and the name and address of the owner. The owner shall paint on or attach to each side of the bow of the motorboat the identification number in such manner as may be prescribed by rules of the Commissioner in order that it may be clearly visible. The registration shall be void one year from the first day of the month following the month of issue in the case of annual registrations, or void two years from the first day of the month following the month of issue in the case of biennial registrations. A vessel of less than 10 horsepower used as a tender to a registered vessel shall be deemed registered, at no additional cost, and shall have painted or attached to both sides of the bow, the same registration number as the registered vessel with the number "1" after the number. The number shall be maintained in legible condition. The registration certificate shall be pocket size and shall be available at all times for inspection on the motorboat for which issued, whenever the motorboat is in operation. A duplicate registration may be obtained upon payment of a fee of $3.00 to the Commissioner. Registration fees shall be allocated in accordance with section 3319 of this title.

    (c) A person engaged in the business of selling or exchanging motorboats as defined in subdivision 4(8) of this title, of a type otherwise required to be registered by this subchapter shall register and obtain registration certificates for use as described under subdivision (1) of this subsection, subject to the requirements of chapter 7 of this title. A manufacturer of motorboats may register and obtain registration certificates under this section.

    (1) A dealer motorboat registration number may be used:

    (A) for the purpose of testing or adjusting motorboats in the immediate vicinity of his or her place of business;

    (B) for some purpose directly connected with the business of purchasing, selling, or exchanging motorboats by the dealer;

    (C) for demonstration when the prospective purchaser is operating the motorboat and is not accompanied by the dealer or his or her employee, but not for more than three days;

    (D) for the temporary accommodation of a customer, whose motorboat, because of accident or wear, is disabled and is left with the dealer for repairs for not more than 14 days;

    (E) for the private business or pleasure use of the dealer and members of his or her immediate family residing in the same household;

    (F) for the use of those motorboats at regattas, marine parades, or water festivities where no charge is made for that use.

    (2) The word "dealer" for the purpose of subdivision (1)(E) of this subsection shall include the principal officers of a corporation or dealer and those partners in a copartnership registered as a dealer as are actively and principally engaged in the motorboat business, but shall not include directors and stockholders nor inactive and silent partners.

    (3) An application for a dealer motorboat registration and registration number shall be accompanied by the following fees:

    (A) for the registration and first number applied for, $42.00;

    (B) for each additional number applied for in the current registration period, $12.00.

    (4) The Commissioner shall issue a registration certificate of number for each identifying number awarded to the dealer in the manner described in subsection (a) of this section, except that a boat shall not be described in the certificate. A dealer's registration certificate expires one year from the first day of the month of issuance.

    (5) A dealer's identifying number shall be displayed as required by subsection (a) except that the number may be temporarily attached.

    (6) A dealer or representative of a dealer shall not use a dealer's identifying number for any purpose other than those described in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

    (d)(1) Registration of a motorboat ends when the owner transfers title to another. The former owner shall immediately return directly to the Commissioner the registration certificate previously assigned to the transferred motorboat with the date of sale and the name and residence of the new owner endorsed on the back of the certificate.

    (2) When a person transfers the ownership of a registered motorboat to another, files a new application, and pays a fee of $6.00, he or she may have registered in his or her name another motorboat of the same class for the remainder of the registration period without payment of any additional registration fee. However, if the fee for the registration of the motorboat sought to be registered is greater than the registration fee for the transferred motorboat, the applicant shall pay the difference between the fee first paid and the fee for the class motorboat sought to be registered.

    (e) If an agency of the U.S. government has in force an overall system of identification numbering for motorboats within the United States, the numbering system employed under this subchapter by the Commissioner shall conform with that system.

    (f) Every registration certificate awarded under this subchapter shall continue in effect as prescribed in subsection (b) of this section unless sooner ended under this chapter. The registration certificate may be renewed by the owner in the same manner provided for in securing the initial certificate.

    (g) The owner shall notify the Commissioner of the transfer of any part of his or her interest other than the creation of a security interest in a motorboat numbered in this State under subsections (a) and (b) of this section or of the destruction or abandonment of the motorboat, within 15 days of the transfer, destruction, or abandonment. The transfer, destruction, or abandonment shall end the certificate of number for the motorboat except that in the case of a transfer of a part interest which does not affect the owner's right to operate the motorboat, the transfer shall not end the certificate of number.

    (h) Any holder of a registration certificate shall notify the Commissioner within 15 days, if his or her address ceases to be the address appearing on the certificate and shall, as a part of the notification, furnish the Commissioner with his or her new address. The Commissioner may provide by rule for the surrender of the certificate bearing the former address and its replacement with a certificate bearing the new address or for the alteration of an outstanding certificate to show the new address of the holder.

    (i) No number other than the number awarded to a motorboat or granted reciprocity under this subchapter may be painted, attached, or otherwise displayed on either side of the bow of the motorboat.

    (j) The Commissioner, by rules adopted pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, may provide for the issuance of temporary registrations of motorboats pending issuance of the permanent registration. Motorboat dealers may issue temporary motorboat registrations. The dealer's fee for the temporary registrations shall be $6.00 for each registration purchased from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Temporary registrations shall be kept with the motorboat while being operated and shall authorize operation without the registration number being affixed for a period not to exceed 60 days from the date of issue.

    (k) The Commissioner shall enclose with every permanent and temporary motorboat registration and registration renewal certificate issued pursuant to this chapter a statement, based on current aquatic nuisance threats and spread prevention methods, regarding the danger of aquatic nuisances, how aquatic nuisance species are spread, and how spread of aquatic nuisance species may be controlled. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 90, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986; 1987, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1989, No. 65, § 2; 1989, No. 265 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3, 4, eff. March 1, 1991; 1993, No. 52, § 1; 1995, No. 16, § 1; 1997, No. 62, § 52, eff. June 26, 1997; 2001, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2001, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 30, eff. May 15, 2002; 2001, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 56; 2003, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 24, eff. June 10, 2004; 2009, No. 46, § 5, eff. July 1, 2010; 2009, No. 50, § 59; 2013, No. 57, § 7; 2015, No. 50, § 4; 2015, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 49.)

  • § 3305a. Privilege to operate a vessel; suspension of privilege; minimum age for operation of motorboat

    (a) A person who meets the applicable requirements of this subchapter shall have the privilege to operate a vessel on the public waters of this State, as those waters are defined in 10 V.S.A. § 1422.

    (b) A person whose privilege to operate a vessel has been suspended shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of a vessel on the public waters of this State until the privilege to operate a vessel has been reinstated by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

    (c) A person under the age of 12 shall not operate a motorboat powered by more than six horsepower on the public waters of this State. (Added 1989, No. 65, § 3.)

  • § 3305b. Boating safety education; rules

    (a) When required. A person born after January 1, 1974 shall not operate a motorboat on the public waters of this State without first obtaining a certificate of boating education.

    (b) Possession of certificate. A person who is required to have a certificate of boating education shall:

    (1) Possess the certificate when operating a motorboat on the public waters of the State.

    (2) Show the certificate on the demand of an enforcement officer wearing insignia identifying him or her as such or operating a law enforcement motorboat or vessel. However, no person charged with violating this subsection shall be convicted if the person produces in court, to the officer, or to a State's Attorney a certificate which was valid at the time the violation occurred.

    (c) Exemptions. The following persons are exempt from the requirements of this section:

    (1) a person who is licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to operate a vessel for commercial purposes;

    (2) a person operating a vessel on a body of water located on private property; and

    (3) any other person exempted by rules of the Department of Public Safety.

    (d) Rules. The Department of Public Safety shall:

    (1) adopt rules that establish criteria for a course of instruction in boating safety education;

    (2) adopt rules relating to transient boaters and persons who hire chartered vessels;

    (3) administer a verbal test when appropriate;

    (4) coordinate a Statewide program of boating safety instruction and certification and ensure that a course of boating safety education is available within each county;

    (5) ensure that a course of boating safety education is available at the earliest practicable age for children; and

    (6) ensure that the course includes an educational component regarding the environmental harm caused by aquatic nuisance species and how the spread of such species may be controlled when boaters follow specific steps to clean boats and trailers after use in State waters.

    (e) Hours of instruction. Any course of boating safety education that is offered shall provide a minimum of eight hours of instruction.

    (f) Persons offering courses. The following persons may offer the course of instruction in boating safety education if approved by the Department of Public Safety:

    (1) the Department of Public Safety;

    (2) the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary;

    (3) the U.S. Power Squadron;

    (4) a political subdivision;

    (5) a municipal corporation;

    (6) a State agency;

    (7) a public or nonpublic school;

    (8) any group, firm, association, or person.

    (g) Issuance of certificate. The Department of Public Safety or its designee, shall issue a certificate of boating safety education to a person who:

    (1) passes the departmentally prescribed course in boating safety education; or

    (2) passes a boating safety equivalency examination administered by persons authorized to offer the course on boating safety education.

    (h) Education materials. Upon request, the Department of Public Safety shall provide, without charge, boating safety education materials to persons who plan to take the boating safety equivalency examination.

    (i) Lifetime issuance. Once issued, the certificate of boating safety education is valid for the lifetime of the person to whom it was issued and may not be revoked by the Department of Public Safety or a court of law.

    (j) Certificate replacement. The Department of Public Safety shall replace, without charge, a lost or destroyed certificate if the Department issued the certificate or has a record that the certificate was issued.

    (k) Out-of-state certificate. A boating safety certificate issued in another state or country in accordance with or substantially equivalent to criteria of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is sufficient to comply with the requirements of this section. (Added 1989, No. 65, § 4; amended 2009, No. 46, § 6, eff. July 1, 2010.)

  • § 3306. Lights and equipment

    (a) Every vessel shall carry and show the following lights when underway between sunset and sunrise:

    (1) manually propelled boats, a lantern capable of showing a white light which shall be temporarily displayed in sufficient time to prevent collision;

    (2) motorboats less than 26 feet in length, a white light aft showing all around, visible for at least two miles, a light in the forepart of the boat, lower than the white light aft, showing green to starboard and red to port, visible for at least one mile;

    (3) motorboats 26 feet or longer, a white light aft showing all around, visible for at least two miles, a white light in the forepart of the boat showing all around, a light in the forepart of the boat showing red to port and green to starboard, visible at least one mile;

    (4) boats propelled by sail, a white light showing all around visible for at least two miles, and a white light in the forepart of the boat, lower than the white light aft, showing red to port and green to starboard;

    (5) any light or combination of lights approved by the Coast Guard for inland waters shall be considered legal for Vermont waters.

    (b)(1) Each vessel, except sailboards, shall carry at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device consistent with federal regulations in good and serviceable condition for each person aboard.

    (2) Vessels; persons less than 12 years old. In addition to the provisions of this subsection, a person under the age of 12 aboard a vessel, while under way and the person is on an open deck, shall wear a Type I, II, or III U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.

    (3) Sailboards; persons less than 16 years old. A person under the age of 16 aboard a sailboard shall wear a Type I, II, or III U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.

    (4) U.S. Coast Guard inspected commercial vessels shall be exempt from the provisions of this subsection.

    (c) Every motorboat and auxiliary powered sailboats except outboard motorboats less than 26 feet in length and of open construction not carrying passengers for hire shall carry on board, fully charged and in good condition, U.S. Coast Guard approved hand portable fire extinguishers as follows:

    (1) Motorboats and auxiliary powered sailboats with no fixed fire extinguisher system in the machinery space and which are:

    (A) less than 26 feet in length, one extinguisher;

    (B) 26 feet or longer, but less than 40 feet, two extinguishers;

    (C) 40 feet or longer, three extinguishers.

    (2) Motorboats and auxiliary powered sailboats with a fixed fire extinguisher system in the machinery space and which are:

    (A) 26 feet or longer but less than 40 feet, one extinguisher;

    (B) 40 feet or longer, two extinguishers.

    (d) The extinguishers referred to by this section are class B-I extinguishers described in 46 C.F.R. § 25.30, but one class B-II extinguisher described in that regulation may be substituted for two class B-I extinguishers.

    (e) Every marine toilet on board any vessel operated on the waters of the state shall also incorporate or be equipped with a holding tank. Any holding tank designed so as to provide for an optional means of discharge to the waters on which the vessel is operating shall have the discharge openings sealed shut and any discharge lines, pipes, or hoses shall be disconnected and stored while the vessel is in the waters of this State.

    (f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the discharge of adequately treated wastes from any vessel operating under the provisions of a valid discharge permit issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 90, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1986; 1987, No. 76, § 18; 1989, No. 65, § 5; 1989, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 3307. Exemption from Vermont numbering provisions

    (a) A motorboat is not required to have a Vermont number under this chapter if it is:

    (1) Already covered by a number in effect which has been awarded to it under federal law or a federally approved numbering system of another state, if the boat has not been within the State for more than 90 days.

    (2) A motorboat from a country other than the United States if the boat has not been within the State for more than 90 days.

    (3) A motorboat owned by the United States, a state or subdivision of the United States, or a state and not rented, leased, or used by any person other than an employee of the government. However, the boat shall have the name of the government or department of the government owning it printed on each side of the bow.

    (4) A ship's lifeboat.

    (5) Licensed, numbered, or otherwise registered under New Hampshire laws for operation on waters in that state, but only when it is operated on such parts of the Connecticut River and impoundments of the river as may lie in Vermont and only when and to the same extent as New Hampshire laws allow motorboats licensed, numbered, or otherwise recognized by Vermont laws as being registered for lawful operation on waters within Vermont to be operated on such parts of the Connecticut River and impoundments of the river as may be in New Hampshire.

    (b) Any exemptions provided in this section shall apply to an owner or operator of a motorboat only to the extent that under the laws of the foreign country or state of his or her residence like exemptions and privileges are granted to operators and owners of motorboats duly registered under the laws of this State.

    (c) Failure to meet one of the exemptions of this section will require registration and numbering in Vermont. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 90, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1986; 2015, No. 47, § 49.)

  • § 3307a. Documented boat validation sticker

    (a) Annual validation required.

    (1) An owner of a vessel, as defined in subdivision 3302(11) of this title, that has been registered in another state under a federally-approved numbering system, or that has a valid document issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Bureau of Customs or any other federal agency, and that is used in the waters of the State for at least 30 days in any calendar year shall apply annually to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles for validation of the out-of-state or federal registration of that vessel.

    (2) The Commissioner shall issue a validation sticker to any person who submits an application and pays a fee as required by subsection (b) of this section provided that the out-of-state or federal registration is valid and that the requirements of section 3322 of this title are met.

    (3) A validation sticker issued under this section shall be valid through December 31 of the year in which it is issued.

    (b) Application; fee. The owner of the vessel shall:

    (1) submit an application to the Commissioner on the form that the Commissioner requires and be signed by every owner of the vessel; and

    (2) pay to the Commissioner an application fee in the same amount as would be paid if the vessel was being registered under subsection 3305(b) of this title.

    (c) Sale of vessel. Within 30 days after the sale or other transfer of a vessel that is or should be validated under this section:

    (1) the transferor shall give notice of the transfer to the Commissioner on a form that the Commissioner requires; and

    (2) if the transferee intends to continue to use the vessel on the waters of the State for at least 30 days in any calendar year, he or she shall submit an application for validation and pay the fee as required by subsection (b) of this section.

    (d) Display of sticker. The validation sticker shall be displayed on or about the forward half of the vessel.

    (e) Operation without sticker prohibited. Unless the vessel that is subject to the validation requirement of this section displays a current validation sticker:

    (1) a person may not operate the vessel on the waters of the State; and

    (2) the owner may not knowingly permit the vessel to be operated on the waters of the State. (Added 1987, No. 251 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1989, No. 265 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. March 1, 1991; 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 12.)

  • § 3308. Boat liveries

    The owner of a boat livery shall cause to be kept a record of the name and address of the person or persons hiring any vessel which is designed or permitted by him or her to be operated as a motorboat and the identification number and the date and time of rental. The record shall be preserved for at least six months. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 90, § 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.)

  • § 3309. Muffling devices

    The exhaust of every internal combustion engine used on any motorboat shall be effectively muffled by equipment so constructed and used as to muffle the noise of the exhaust in a manner which reduces the maximum machine operating noise level to not more than 82 decibels on the A scale at 50 feet, in a normal operating environment. The use of cutouts is prohibited except for motorboats competing in a regatta or boat race approved as provided in section 3316 of this title, and for such motorboats while on trial runs, during a period not to exceed 48 hours immediately preceding such regatta or race and for such motorboats while competing in official trials for speed records during a period not to exceed 48 hours immediately following such regatta or race. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1989, No. 65, § 6.)

  • § 3310. Swimming areas

    (a) The Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation or a municipality in administering a swimming beach or waterfront program may designate a swimming area in front of the beach or land which the State or a municipality owns or controls and may make rules pertaining to the area. The rules may provide that no person, except a lifeguard on duty and other authorized personnel, may operate any boat, canoe, or water vehicle of any sort within the designated swimming area.

    (b) A designated swimming area shall have bounds marked by buoys spaced no more than 100 feet apart. The buoys shall be displayed 24 inches above the water or shall have red flags not smaller than 12 by 18 inches displayed 18 inches above the water. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2009, No. 135 (Adj. Sess.), § 19.)

  • § 3311. Operation of vessels; prohibited acts; authority of law enforcement officers

    (a) Careless and negligent operation. A person shall not operate any vessel or manipulate any water skis, surfboard, or similar device in a careless or negligent manner or in any manner to endanger or jeopardize the safety, life, or property of another person.

    (b) Permitting use by intoxicated person. The owner or person in charge or in control of a vessel shall not knowingly authorize or knowingly permit it to be propelled or operated by any person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic drugs, or barbiturates.

    (c) Distance requirements.

    (1) A person shall not operate any vessel, except a sailboard or a police or emergency vessel, within 200 feet of the shoreline, a person in the water, a canoe, rowboat, or other vessel, an anchored or moored vessel containing any person, or anchorages or docks, except at a speed of less than five miles per hour which does not create a wake.

    (2) Divers. A person shall not operate any vessel, except a nonmotorized canoe, a nonmotorized rowboat, or a police or emergency vessel, within 200 feet of a divers-down flag.

    (3) Nothing herein shall prohibit rendering assistance to another person, picking up a person in the water, necessary mooring or landing, or leaving shore, or operating in any other place where obstruction, other than the shoreline, would prevent abiding by this statute.

    (4) A person shall not operate a vessel, except at speeds of less than five miles per hour, within 200 feet of a designated swimming area.

    (d) Underwater historic preserve area. A vessel shall not be operated in an "underwater historic preserve area" except as provided in this subsection. These areas are historic and archaeological sites located on the bottomlands of the waters of the State and are designated as public recreational areas. The Division for Historic Preservation may designate underwater historic preserve areas and they shall be identified by a floating special purpose yellow buoy marked "State of Vermont Underwater Historic Preserve." The following requirements shall govern the operation of vessels at the preserves:

    (1) A vessel may secure to a yellow buoy only when diving or remotely operated vehicle diving at the preserve. In this subsection, "remotely operated vehicle diving" means using an unstaffed underwater robot to view a preserve site.

    (2) Vessels 35 feet in length or less may secure to a buoy.

    (3) Vessels 50 feet in length or less and piloted by a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain may secure to a buoy for the purpose of remotely operated vehicle diving.

    (4) A divers-down flag shall be displayed whenever a vessel is secured to a buoy.

    (5) On sites with multiple buoys, one vessel may be secured to each buoy.

    (6) When a vessel is secured to the buoy, all other vessels shall remain at least 200 feet from the buoy.

    (7) Anchoring is not permitted within 200 feet of the buoy.

    (e) Overloaded vessel. A vessel shall not be loaded with passengers or cargo beyond its safe carrying capacity taking into consideration weather and other existing operating conditions.

    (f) Attempting to elude a law enforcement officer. An operator of any vessel shall bring his or her vessel to a stop and not attempt to elude a law enforcement officer when signaled to do so by the officer wearing insignia identifying him or her as such or operating a law enforcement vessel sounding a siren and displaying a flashing blue or blue and white signal lamp. The officer may board the vessel.

    (g) Residential vessels prohibited on certain waters. The use of vessels for residential purposes is prohibited on all lakes and ponds which are located wholly within Vermont and on which there are no boat sanitary waste pumpout facilities approved by the Department of Environmental Conservation. For purposes of this subsection, "residential purposes" includes sleeping overnight on a vessel. Vessels operated by agencies, entities, authorities, or instrumentalities of the State, including the State Colleges and the University of Vermont, shall comply with this subsection, except when law enforcement, an emergency, or the performance of official duties requires otherwise.

    (h) A law enforcement officer may stop and board any motorized vessel afloat on public waters of the State at any time to:

    (1) inspect its documents;

    (2) inspect the licenses and permits of the operator of the vessel; or

    (3) conduct a safety inspection for required equipment.

    (i) A law enforcement officer may make arrests for violations of this subchapter; may direct, control, and regulate vessel traffic; and may make reasonable orders in the enforcement of this subchapter. No person may knowingly fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any law enforcement officer. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 261 (Adj. Sess.), eff. June 4, 1986; 1987, No. 140 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 8, 1988; 1989, No. 65, § 7; 1989, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 2, 3; 2009, No. 30, § 2; 2009, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 30.)

  • § 3312. Operations rules as between vessels

    (a) When two boats are approaching each other "head on" or in a manner so as to involve risk of collision, each boat shall bear to the right and pass the other boat on its left side.

    (b) When boats approach each other obliquely or at right angles, the boat approaching on the right side has the right of way.

    (c) One boat may overtake another on either side but shall grant the right of way to the overtaken boat.

    (d) The U.S. Coast Guard Inland Navigation Rules, 33 C.F.R. Part 83, as may be amended, are hereby adopted as the operative rules for Lake Champlain, Lake Memphremagog, and Wallace Pond in Canaan. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1989, No. 65, § 8; 2015, No. 47, § 50.)

  • § 3312a. Operation of personal watercraft

    (a) A person under the age of 16 shall not operate a personal watercraft.

    (b) All persons operating or riding on a personal watercraft shall wear a Type I, II, or III U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.

    (c) Personal watercraft shall not be operated at any time between sunset and sunrise.

    (d) Every person operating a personal watercraft equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard type engine cut-off switch shall attach the lanyard to his or her wrist, clothing, or personal flotation device as appropriate for the specific craft. (Added 1989, No. 65, § 9; amended 2009, No. 30, § 1.)

  • § 3313. Collisions, accidents, and casualties

    (a) The operator of a vessel involved in a collision, accident, or other casualty, so far as he or she can do so without serious danger to his or her own vessel, crew, and passengers shall render to other persons affected by the collision, accident, or other casualty such assistance as may be practicable and as may be necessary in order to save them from or minimize any danger caused by the collision, accident, or other casualty. Also he or she shall give his or her name, address, and identification of his or her vessel in writing to any person injured and to the owner of any property damaged in the collision, accident, or other casualty.

    (b) If a collision, accident, or other casualty involving a vessel results in death or injury to a person or damage to property in excess of $100.00, the operator shall file with the Commissioner of motor vehicles within 36 hours, a full description of the collision, accident, or other casualty, including such information as the Commissioner may, by rule, require. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 90, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.)

  • § 3314. Transmittal of information

    In accordance with any request duly made by an authorized official or agency of the United States, any information compiled or otherwise available to the Department of Motor Vehicles under subsection 3313(b) of this title shall be transmitted to the official or agency of the United States. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 3315. Water skis and surfboards

    (a) Except as provided in this subsection, a person shall not operate a vessel on any waters of this State to tow a person or persons on water skis, aquaplane, kite skis, wakeboard, kneeboard, or similar device unless the person being towed is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device and unless there is in the vessel a person who is at least 12 years old, in addition to the operator, in a position to observe the progress of the person or persons being towed. Persons engaged in barefoot waterskiing may elect at their own risk to wear a non-Coast Guard-approved barefoot wetsuit designed specifically for this activity. An observer shall not be required if the vessel is:

    (1) a tow boat approved by the American Water Ski Association and equipped with a wide-angle mirror having a viewing surface of at least 48 square inches;

    (2) being operated by a person who is at least 18 years of age; and

    (3) being operated within an American Water Ski Association regulation slalom course.

    (b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply to a performer engaged in a professional exhibition nor to a person engaged in an activity authorized under section 3316 of this title.

    (c) A person shall not operate or manipulate any vessel, tow rope, or other device by which the direction or location of water skis, a surfboard, or similar device may be affected or controlled in such a way as to cause the water skis, surfboard, or similar device, or any person thereon to approach within 100 feet of a person swimming, or a canoe, rowboat, or other light craft conveying any person. This subsection does not prohibit necessary mooring or landing, or leaving shore.

    (d) The Commissioner may designate areas less than 200 feet from the shoreline of a body of water, other than a river, to allow for the operation of a motorboat used for the purpose of towing a person or persons on water skis, aquaplane, kite skis, surfboard, or similar device. The Commissioner shall adopt rules to establish criteria governing the designation of such areas and conditions which may be placed on the designated areas. The Commissioner may consider safety, potential environmental damage, the impact on adjacent areas and uses and any other related concerns. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 23; 1985, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.); 1989, No. 65, § 10; 1989, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 196 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 3316. Regattas; races; marine parades; tournaments; water skiing events or exhibitions; triathlons

    (a) The Commissioner of Public Safety may authorize the holding of public regattas, motorboat or other boat races, marine parades, tournaments, water skiing events, exhibitions, or triathlons on any waters of this State and any associated public roads. He or she shall adopt and may, from time to time, amend rules concerning the safety of motorboats and other vessels and persons on these vessels, either observers or participants, and of persons swimming, cycling, or running in or observing an event. Whenever a public regatta, motorboat or other boat race, marine parade, tournament, water skiing event, exhibition, or triathlon is proposed to be held, the person in charge shall, at least 15 days prior to the event, file an application with the Department of Public Safety for permission to hold the regatta, motorboat or other boat race, marine parade, tournament, water skiing event, exhibition, or triathlon. A copy of such application shall be sent to the municipality and organized lake association where the event is to be held 15 days in advance of the event to allow for comment. The application shall set forth the date, time, and location where it is proposed to hold the regatta, motorboat or other boat race, marine parade, tournament, water skiing event, exhibition, or triathlon and it shall not be conducted without authorization of the Department of Public Safety in writing, except that this provision shall not apply to unscheduled boat races to which the public has not been invited.

    (b) The provisions of this section shall not exempt any person from compliance with applicable federal law or regulation, but nothing contained in this section shall be construed to require the securing of a State permit if a permit has been obtained from an authorized agency of the United States. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 90, § 6, eff. Jan. 1, 1986; 1989, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1999, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 80, eff. May 24, 2000.)

  • § 3317. Penalties

    (a) A person who violates any of the following sections of this title shall be subject to a fine of not more than $50.00 for each violation:

      § 3303           unnumbered boat

      § 3305(a)           unregistered boat

      § 3305(d)           old registered certificate to be returned

      § 3305(e)           compliance with federal motorboat ID system

      § 3305(h)           change of address

      § 3305(i)           incorrect number displayed on boat

      § 3305(j)           temporary registration

      § 3305a(a)           qualified person may operate

      § 3305a(c)           underage operation

      § 3305(b)           operating without boat certificate

      § 3306(a)-(d)           lights and equipment

      § 3307a           documented boat validation sticker

      § 3308           boat rental records

      § 3309           muffling device

      § 3311(c)           distance requirements

      § 3311(d)           underwater historic preserve area

      § 3311(e)           overloaded vessel

      § 3311(h)-(i)           authority of law enforcement officer

      § 3312           rules between vessels

      § 3313(b)           failing to file report

      § 3315(a)           water ski observer

      § 3315(c)           improper ski towing

      § 3316           boat races

    (b) A person who violates a requirement under 10 V.S.A. § 1454 shall be subject to enforcement under 10 V.S.A. chapter 201, provided that the person shall be assessed a penalty of not more than $1,000.00 for each violation. A person who violates a rule adopted under 10 V.S.A. § 1424 shall be subject to enforcement under 10 V.S.A. chapter 201, provided that the person shall be assessed a penalty of not more than $300.00 for each violation. A person who violates any of the following sections of this title shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $300.00 for each violation:

      § 3306(e)                       marine toilet

      § 3312a                       operation of personal

                          watercraft

    (c) A person who violates any of the following sections of this title shall be imprisoned not more than three months or fined not more than $300.00, or both, for each violation:

      § 3305a(b)            operating privilege suspended

      § 3311(a)            careless and negligent operation

      § 3311(b)            permitting use by intoxicated person

      § 3311(f)            attempting to elude a law enforcement officer

      § 3311(g)            residential vessel prohibited

      § 3313(a)            leaving scene of accident

    (d) Boating while intoxicated; privilege suspension. Any person who is convicted of violating section 3323 of this title shall have his or her privilege to operate a vessel, except a nonmotorized canoe and a nonmotorized rowboat, suspended for a period of one year and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title.

    (e) Boating while intoxicated; criminal penalty. Any person who violates a provision of section 3323 of this title shall be imprisoned for not more than one year and subject to the following fines:

    (1) for a first offense, not less than $200.00 nor more than $750.00;

    (2) for a second or subsequent offense, not less than $250.00 nor more than $1,000.00.

    (f)(1) Boating while intoxicated; death resulting. If the death of any person results from the violation of section 3323 of this title, the person convicted shall, instead of any other penalty imposed in this section, be imprisoned not less than one year nor more than 15 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both; but the provisions of this section shall not be construed to limit or restrict prosecutions for manslaughter.

    (B) If the death of more than one person results from a violation of section 3323 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent.

    (2)(A) Boating while intoxicated; serious bodily injury resulting. If serious bodily injury, as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2), results to any person other than the operator from a violation of section 3323 of this title, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.

    (B) If serious bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2) results to more than one person other than the operator from a violation of section 3323 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each person injured.

    (g) Defective, stolen, or fraudulently registered motorboat; registration revocation or suspension. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles or his or her authorized agent may suspend or revoke the registration of any motorboat registered in this State and repossess the number and certificate to it, when he or she is satisfied that:

    (1) a motorboat has been stolen and that the registrant has not legal title; or

    (2) a motorboat is in such poor mechanical or structural condition as to make it unseaworthy; or

    (3) a motorboat is operated without proper equipment after the owner has been notified to procure and use such equipment as is required by law or Department rules; or

    (4) the owner of a motorboat has perpetrated some fraud upon the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    (h) More than two violations; education program required. Any person convicted of more than two boating violations concerning the operation of, or safety equipment on, a vessel within a two-year period shall, in addition to penalties provided for in this section, have his or her privilege to operate a vessel on the waters of this State suspended until the person has successfully completed the boating safety education program provided in section 3305b of this title. A person shall also be required to complete the program if convicted of careless or negligent operation or of operation under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The requirements of this subsection apply regardless of whether a person has completed the education program one or more times. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 90, § 7, eff. May 30, 1985; 1989, No. 65, § 11; 1999, No. 42, § 3, eff. May 25, 1999; 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 70, eff. June 8, 2004; 2007, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2009, No. 30, § 3; 2015, No. 61, § 11, eff. June 17, 2015.)

  • § 3318. Administration and enforcement

    (a) The administration of the provisions of this chapter, as they pertain to the registration and numbering of vessels and the suspension of the privilege to operate vessels, shall be the responsibility of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    (b) This chapter and rules promulgated under this chapter shall be printed in booklet form and made available to the public by the Department of Public Safety.

    (c) The provisions of this subchapter and the rules adopted pursuant to this subchapter shall be enforced by law enforcement officers as defined in section 3302 of this title in accordance with the provisions of 12 V.S.A. chapter 193. Law enforcement officers as defined in section 3302 of this title may also enforce the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 1454 and the rules adopted pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 1424 in accordance with the requirements of 10 V.S.A. chapter 50. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 90, § 8, eff. Jan. 1, 1986; 1989, No. 65, § 12; 1999, No. 42, § 4, eff. May 25, 1999; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238; 2015, No. 61, § 12, eff. June 17, 2015.)

  • § 3319. Fees collected; special fund

    (a) There is hereby established a special fund to be known as the Motorboat Registration Fund for the purposes of ensuring that the fees and penalties collected under this subchapter are utilized in the protection and maintenance of the State's water resources. Any interest earned on the monies in this Fund will be deposited in the General Fund.

    (b) The fees and penalties collected under the provisions of this subchapter shall be deposited in the Motorboat Registration Fund and shall be allocated as follows:

    (1) 10 percent to the Department of Public Safety, to be used for enforcement of this subchapter and implementation of a boating safety education program.

    (2) 34 percent to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, to be used: to match federal funds; for upgrading and expanding boating access areas and facilities located at those areas; for developing and constructing new boating access areas; and for facilitating or establishing and maintaining pump out stations, which may be, in the discretion of the Commissioner, constructed or operated either by the Department or on a contractual basis by a private person or entity. Users shall be charged reasonable and appropriate fees.

    (3) 17 percent to the Department of Environmental Conservation for the purpose of aquatic nuisance control pursuant to 10 V.S.A. chapter 50.

    (4) Seven percent to the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets for the purpose of mosquito control pursuant to 6 V.S.A. chapter 85.

    (5) 20 percent to the Department of Environmental Conservation for the purpose of an Aquatic Nuisance Control Grant Program pursuant to 10 V.S.A. chapter 50.

    (6) 12 percent to the Transportation Fund.

    (c) [Repealed.]  (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1989, No. 65, § 13; 1989, No. 265 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1993, No. 52, § 3, eff. July 1, 1994; 2001, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 57; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2009, No. 46, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010; 2015, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 50.)

  • § 3320. Motor propelled boats on Dufresne Dam waters prohibited

    (a) The use and operation of motor propelled boats on the waters impounded by the Dufresne Dam, so-called, on the Battenkill River in the town of Manchester is prohibited.

    (b) The Department of Fish and Wildlife shall post notice of this section conspicuously at the boat launching areas at the Dufresne Dam impoundment.

    (c) A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $20.00 for each offense. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 3321. Motor propelled boats in South Pond prohibited

    (a) The use and operation of motor propelled boats on the waters of South Pond in the town of Marlboro is prohibited.

    (b) The Department of Fish and Wildlife shall post notice of this section conspicuously at the boat launching areas at the South Pond impoundment.

    (c) A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $20.00 for each offense. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 3322. Proof of payment of tax

    No license, permit, registration, validation, or similar authorization to own or operate any vessel shall be issued under this chapter until proof of payment of or exemption from the tax imposed by 32 V.S.A. chapter 233 has been established in the manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Taxes. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1987, No. 251 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 3323. Operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; B.W.I.

    (a) A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of a vessel on the waters of this State while:

    (1) there is 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood, as shown by analysis of his or her breath or blood; or

    (2) under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or

    (3) under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of operating safely.

    (b) For purposes of this section, "intoxicating liquor" includes "alcohol," "malt beverages," "spirituous liquors," and "vinous beverages" as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 2, and any beverage or liquid containing any of the foregoing.

    (c) A person who is a habitual user of or under the influence of any narcotic drug or who is under the influence of any other drug, substance, or inhalant other than intoxicating liquor to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely operating a vessel may not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of a vessel. The fact that a person charged with a violation of this section is or has been entitled to use such drug under the laws of this State shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this section.

    (d) For the purposes of this section, "drug" means a regulated drug as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 4201.

    (e) A person may not be convicted of more than one violation of subsection (a) of this section arising out of the same incident. (Added 1989, No. 65, § 14; amended 1997, No. 57, § 3; 2007, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)

  • § 3323a. Persons under 21; alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more

    (a) A person under the age of 21 who operates, attempts to operate, or is in actual physical control of a vessel on the waters of this State when the person's alcohol concentration is 0.02 or more, commits a civil traffic violation subject to the jurisdiction of the Judicial Bureau and subject to the following sanctions:

    (1) For a first violation, the person's privilege to operate a vessel, except a nonmotorized canoe and a nonmotorized rowboat, on the waters of this State shall be suspended for six months and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title.

    (2) For a second or subsequent violation, the person's privilege to operate a vessel, except a nonmotorized canoe and a nonmotorized rowboat, on the waters of this State shall be suspended until the person reaches the age of 21 or for one year, whichever is longer, and complies with section 1209a of this title.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions in subsection (a) of this section to the contrary, a person's privilege to operate that has been suspended under this section shall not be reinstated until the Commissioner has received satisfactory evidence that the provider of the therapy program has been paid in full.

    (c) If a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is violating this section, the officer may request the person to submit to a breath test using a preliminary screening device approved by the Commissioner of Health. Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in sections 1202 and 1203 of this title:

    (1) the results of the test shall be admissible evidence in a proceeding under this section; and

    (2) there shall be no statutory right to counsel prior to the administration of the test.

    (d) A refusal to submit to a breath test shall be considered a violation of this section.

    (e) In a proceeding under this section, if there was at any time within two hours of operating, attempting to operate or being in actual physical control of a vessel on the waters of this State an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person's alcohol concentration was 0.02 or more at the time of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control.

    (f) The alcohol program required under this section shall be administered by the Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs and shall take into consideration any particular treatment needs of operators under the age of 21.

    (g) A charge of violating this section shall not bar prosecution for any crime, including a prosecution under section 3323 of this title. (Added 1997, No. 57, § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; amended 1997, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 29.)

  • § 3324. Implied consent

    Any person who operates, attempts to operate, or is in actual physical control of a vessel on the waters of this State is deemed to have given consent to the taking of more than one sample of his or her breath or blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood. The samples shall be taken and the tests administered and analyzed consistently with the provisions of sections 1202 and 1203 of this title. (Added 1989, No. 65, § 14.)

  • § 3325. Permissive inferences

    (a) Upon the trial of any civil or criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed by a person while operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vessel on the waters of this State, the amount of alcohol in the person's blood or breath at the time alleged as shown by analysis of the person's blood or breath shall give rise to the following permissive inferences or presumptions:

    (1) If there was at that time 0.05 percent or less by weight of alcohol in the person's blood or breath, it shall be presumed that the person was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

    (2) If there was at that time in excess of 0.05 percent but less than 0.08 percent by weight of alcohol in the person's blood or breath, such fact shall not give rise to any presumption or permissive inference that the person was or was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor, but such fact may be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

    (3) If there was at that time 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood or breath, as shown by analysis of the person's blood or breath, it shall be a permissive inference that the person was under the influence of intoxicating liquor in violation of section 3323 of this title.

    (4) If there was at any time within two hours of the alleged offense, 0.10 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood or breath as shown by analysis of the person's blood or breath, it shall be a permissive inference that the person was under the influence of intoxicating liquor in violation of subdivision 3323(a)(2) or (3) of this title.

    (b) Percent by weight of alcohol in the blood shall be based upon milligrams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood.

    (c) The foregoing provisions shall not be construed as limiting the introduction of any other competent evidence bearing upon the question whether the person was under the influence of intoxicating liquor, nor shall they be construed as requiring that evidence of the amount of alcohol in the person's blood or breath must be preserved. (Added 1989, No. 65, § 14; amended 1997, No. 57, § 5.)

  • § 3326. Refusals; sanctions

    (a) Refusals. If the person refuses to submit to an evidentiary test it shall not be given, but the refusal may be introduced as evidence in a criminal proceeding. If the person is charged with a violation of this subchapter, the court at the arraignment or as soon thereafter as is practicable shall hold a summary hearing, and take evidence relating to the reasonableness of the officer's belief that the defendant was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vessel on the waters of this State while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or other drugs, or both.

    (b) Penalty; first refusal. Upon a finding by the court that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant was so operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vessel on the waters of this State, the court shall impose a civil penalty of not more than $750.00. In addition, the person's privilege to operate a vessel, except a nonmotorized canoe and a nonmotorized rowboat, on the waters of this State shall be suspended for a period of one year and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title.

    (c) Second occurrence after five years. Upon a second refusal to submit to testing and upon a finding by the court under subsection (a) of this section, if the second offense occurs more than five years after the date of the first offense for which a refusal was given, the court shall impose the same penalty and suspension as for a first refusal under this section.

    (d) Second occurrence within five years. Upon a second refusal to submit to testing and upon a finding by the court under subsection (a) of this section, if the offense occurred within five years of the date of the offense for which there was a first refusal by that person, and upon final determination of an appeal, the court shall impose a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.00. In addition, the person's privilege to operate a vessel, except a nonmotorized canoe and a nonmotorized rowboat, on the waters of this state shall be suspended for a period of two years and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title. (Added 1989, No. 65, § 14.)

  • § 3327. Responsibility to follow lawful order of law enforcement officer

    (a) A person while operating or in charge of a vessel shall, upon request by a law enforcement officer who reasonably suspects that the person has committed or is committing a violation of this subchapter, give his or her name, date of birth, and address and the name and address of the owner of the vessel.

    (b) The operator of the vessel shall identify himself or herself upon request from a law enforcement officer and produce the registration certificate for the vessel if required. A person operating a vessel shall promptly and carefully stop when signaled to stop by a law enforcement officer wearing insignia which identifies the officer.

    (c) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $300.00.

    (d) A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $250.00. (Added 2009, No. 30, § 4.)


  • Subchapter 003: WATER SPORTS
  • § 3381. Divers; flag required

    (a) As used in this section:

    (1) "Diver" means any person who is wholly submerged in the waters of the State and is equipped with a face mask and snorkel or "underwater breathing apparatus."

    (2) "Divers-down flag" means a flag that is either square or rectangular, to approximately four units high by five units long, with a one-unit diagonal stripe. The divers-down flag shall have a white diagonal stripe on a red background. The stripe shall begin at the top staff-side of the flag and extend diagonally to the opposite lower corner. The flag shall be free-flying and shall be removed when all divers are out of the water. The minimum size shall be 12 by 12 inches.

    (b) All divers shall prominently display a divers-down flag in the area in which the diving occurs, other than when diving in an area customarily used for swimming only. Persons diving together as a group, in the same diving area, shall display at least one flag.

    (c) A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $100.00 for each violation. (Added 1987, No. 140 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 8, 1988.)