Division of Boating and Waterways Now Accepting California Boater Card Applications

Following please find the announcement that the Division of Boating and Waterways is accepting applications for the California Boater Card.

Starting in January 2018, recreational vessel operators of motorized vessels will be required to pass a boating exam after which they will be issued a certification card.

The process will first address individuals 20 and younger and then proceed to include boaters of all ages.

RBOC supported the legislation that was enacted to establish this program, SB 941 Monning and DeSaulnier, Chapter 433, Statutes of 2014.

The organization worked to have the program established at DBW, rather than DMV, to ensure that the certificate fees would be reasonable, and to provide for a lifetime certificate rather than a licensure program.

Sacramento, Calif. – California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is now accepting applications for the California Boater Card. The card verifies that its holder has successfully taken and passed an approved boater safety education course. Once issued, the California Boater Card remains valid for an operator’s lifetime.

On Sept. 18, 2014, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed into law Senate Bill 941, which prohibits the operation of motorized vessels in California without a valid boater card developed and issued by DBW. The new mandatory boating safety education law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. The law will be phased in by age. The first group required to take the exam are boaters 20 years of age and younger. Each year after January 2018, a new age group will be added to those who are required to possess a valid card. By 2025, all persons who operate a motorized vessel on California waters will be required to have one. The cost of the lifetime card is $10, and all the money goes toward developing and operating the program. By law, DBW cannot profit from the program.

“California and U.S. Coast Guard accident data show that states with some form of boating safety education have fewer accidents and fatalities than states without any boater education requirements,” said DBW Acting Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. “This new law will help make boating safer for all families on California’s waterways.”

California is one of the last states to implement some sort of mandatory boating education requirement. Repeatedly, recreational boating accident data shows that many operators involved in accidents have not taken a boating safety course. For example, last year’s statistics showed that more than 800 California recreational vessels were involved in reported accidents, resulting in 50 deaths. Only one of the boat operators involved in the fatal accidents had taken an approved boating safety course.

Applying for the California Boater Card is easy. Boaters have an option to apply before or after taking an approved boating safety course. You can find the list of options at www.CaliforniaBoaterCard.com.  A toll-free telephone support line is also available at (844) 421-8333.

There is good news for boaters who have already taken an approved course between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2017 - Persons who have passed an approved examination during this timeframe will have until Dec. 31, 2018 to apply for their California Boater Card to receive the “grandfathering” exemption regardless of their age. Older courses will not be accepted since they may not include recent state or national changes to navigation law.

Boating safety course providers must be approved not only by the state of California, but by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Courses may be classroom, home study or online. 

It is important to note there are exemptions to the new law. For example, those operating a rental vessel or possess a current commercial fishing license do not need to obtain a California Boater Card. For more information on the new mandatory boating safety education law, including a current list of approved California boating courses and exemptions to the law, please visit www.CaliforniaBoaterCard.com.

Govenor Vetoes Proposed Ban on Smoking in State Parks, on State Beaches

Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed AB 725 [Levine] and SB 386 [Glazer], measures that would have banned smoking in state parks and on state beaches.

The Governor issued identical veto messages on each measure:

"The bill prohibits smoking on state coastal beaches and throughout the State Park System, and requires the Department of Parks and Recreation to post signs to notify the public of the smoking ban.

"Last year I vetoed Senate Bill 1333, a similar measure, because I believed that such a far-reaching prohibition in every state park and on every state beach was too broad.

 "In addition, the fine prescribed in this bill for lighting one cigarette is excessive: over $250 dollars [AB 725] $485 [SB 386], after the mandatory assessments."

"If people can't smoke even on a deserted beach, where can they? There must be some limit to the coercive power of government."

 

Key Legislation Update - As Legislature Has Adjourned

This is an update on a number of key legislative issues now that the state Legislature has recessed the first year of the 2017-2018 legislative session. 

The deadline for the Governor’s consideration of the measures that passed the Legislature in the final days prior to adjournment is October 15.

Prohibition against drinking an alcoholic beverage or smoking or ingesting marijuana or any marijuana product while driving, or while riding as a passenger

SB 65 [Hill] – has been enacted into law after provisions of concern to RBOC were removed at the organization's request. Those provisions would have prohibited drinking an alcoholic beverage while operating a vessel. The current, extensive provisions of state law strike an effective balance that prevents boating under the influence [BUI], effectively enforces the BUI laws, and acknowledges the boating experience. 

Elimination of mortgage interest deduction on second homes

AB 71 [Chiu] – was not taken up on the Assembly Floor and may be considered in 2018. RBOC has advocated in opposition to this measure.

Expansion of vessels eligible to use distinctive blue lights to include fire department and fire protection district vessels while engaged in public safety activities

AB 78 [Cooper] – this RBOC-supported measure has been enacted and will take effect on January 1, 2018.

Requirement that DBW, to the extent feasible, collaborate with the California Conservation Corps and use members of the corps in implementing its invasive aquatic plants control programs

SB 704 [Galgiani] – this RBOC-supported measure has been enacted into law and will take effect on January 1, 2018.

Enactment of a 12 cents per gallon motor vehicle gasoline tax increase, and a 20 cents per gallon diesel fuel tax, with the portion of the new gasoline taxes attributable to boats placed in the State Parks and Recreation Fund

SB 1 [Hertzberg] – has been enacted into law, with the increase taking effect on November 1, 2017. At least one initiative to repeal the tax is being pursued.

Authorization for a court to impound, for up to 30 days, a boat used in a violation of the BUI laws if the owner is convicted and the conduct resulted in the unlawful killing of a person

SB 644 [Stone] – was vetoed by Governor Brown: “I do not see the need, in these tragic but narrow instances, to additionally expand the powers of government to impound private property as an added punitive measure. Because this bill will not act as a deterrent, and existing criminal and civil penalties are sufficient to address the conduct contemplated, I am returning this measure without my signature.”

Establishment of an infraction to smoke on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system

AB 725 [Levine] – has passed the Legislature and proceeds to the Governor for his consideration.

Establishment of an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $100 for a person to smoke on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system

SB 386 [Glaser] – has passed the Legislature and proceeds to the Governor for his consideration.

Establishment of an infraction to possess an alcoholic beverage in a vessel on portions of the Mokelumne River during a summer period for which the Board of Supervisors has banned consumption on land portions of the Stillman Magee County Park

AB 934 [Flora] – was not heard in the initial policy committee and may be considered next year.

Imposition of a quagga and zebra mussel infestation prevention fee of up to $50 annually, on non-resident owners of vessels, to be paid before the vessel is placed in the state’s waterways

AB 1587 [Levine] – was held under submission in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Prohibition against the sale of a nonbiodegradable toxic chemical in a container that indicates that the chemical could be used in a chemical toilet, a waste facility of a recreational vehicle, or a waste facility of a vessel

AB 852 [Caballero] – did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

Proposed $3.5 billion water, parks, climate, coastal protection, and outdoor access bond measure – with potential funding for a Riverside County aquatic center

SB 5 [DeLeón] – has passed the Legislature and has proceeded to the Governor for possible placement before voters on the June 2018 statewide ballot.

Requirement that the lead agency provide information on costs for each water contractor and the benefits each contractor will receive from the proposed Delta water conveyance project prior to water contractors entering into specified agreements

AB 791 [Frazier] - was held under submission in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Prohibition against the Delta Stewardship Council granting a certification of consistency with the Delta Plan until completion of the update of the 2006 Water Quality Control Plan for the Bay-Delta Estuary

AB 792 [Frazier] – did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

Declaration of state policy that the existing state of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is recognized and defined as an integral component of California’s water infrastructure

AB 793 [Frazier] – did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

Revision of the definition of a local emergency to include conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the territorial limits of a district established under the Harbors and Navigation Code

SB 531 [Galgiani] - did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

Governor Brown Signs Marijuana DUI Bill into Law - Without Boating Provision

Governor Jerry Brown has just signed into law SB 65 [Hill] in the form that reflects revisions negotiated by RBOC.

Therefore, it does not contain the provision that would have made driving or operating a boat or vessel, while drinking any alcoholic beverage, punishable as either an infraction or a misdemeanor.

As enacted into law, SB 65 will make drinking an alcoholic beverage or smoking or ingesting marijuana or any marijuana product while driving, or while riding as a passenger in, a motor vehicle being driven upon a highway or upon specified lands punishable as an infraction.

RBOC appreciates Senator Jerry Hill's recognition that the current, extensive provisions of state law strike a balance that prevents boating under the influence [BUI], effectively enforces the extensive state BUI laws, and acknowledges the boating experience.

As set forth on the state Division of Boating and Waterways website, the state BUI laws include:

  • No person shall operate any vessel, water skis or similar device while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. No person who is addicted to any drug shall operate any vessel, water skis or similar device.

  • No person 21 years of age or older shall operate any vessel, water skis or similar device who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood.

  • A level of at least 0.05 percent, but less than 0.08 percent, may be used with other evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of alcohol.  

  • A person under 21 years of age or older who has been arrested for operating a mechanically propelled vessel “under the influence” may be requested to submit to a chemical test to determine blood-alcohol content.

  • A person convicted of operating a vessel while intoxicated could receive up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
  • No person under 21 years of age may operate a vessel, water skis or similar device who has 0.01 percent or more of alcohol in his or her blood by weight.

  • Penalties may include a fine of up to $250 and participation in an alcohol education or community service program. 

  • No person under 21 years of age may operate a vessel, water skis or similar device who has 0.01 percent or more of alcohol in his or her blood by weight.

  • Penalties may include a fine of up to $250 and participation in an alcohol education or community service program.

In addition to supporting these laws, boaters are doing our part financially. Several million dollars are provided to local boating enforcement each year in the form of boater-derived state fuel tax dollars and registration fees.

RBOC was also concerned that the proposed prohibition in an earlier version of SB 65 would have applied regardless of whether the boat is actively underway, and that the measure did not provide clarity on who would be considered the operator of a boat in the situations where there are multiple individuals on-board and vessels with multiple helms.

It should also be noted that the conditions of operating a boat on most waterways under regional or state jurisdiction are far, far different from the operation of a motor vehicle on restricted roadways.

The speed of operation and distances between boats or obstructions normally provide ample time for operators who are not "under the influence" to avoid dangerous circumstances while at the same time sipping a beer, glass of wine or cocktail at the helm of a vessel heading back to port after a day cruising.

Governor Jerry Brown Signs RBOC-supported Legislation on Delta Invasive Species Collaboration

Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law the RBOC-supported SB 704 [Galgiani] that will require the Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) to collaborate with the California Conservation Corps (CCC), to the extent feasible, to use its corps members in implementing invasive aquatic plants control programs in the Delta, its tributaries, and the marsh.

RBOC-supported Bill Encouraging Collaboration on Invasives Species Advances

The RBOC-supported SB 704 [Galgiani] to encourage collaboration on important state efforts to combat invasive aquatic species including water hyacinth will pass the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife when the committee concludes its actions today.

SB 704 would require the state Division of Boating and Waterways [DBW], to the extent feasible, to collaborate with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) in implementing its control programs for invasive aquatic plants in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, its tributaries, and Suisun Marsh.

The author's statement on the purpose of the measure:

"The California Conservation Corps is a critical and valuable state organization that provides educational and work opportunities for young adults seeking to improve and protect California’s natural resources.  Currently, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is facing a devastating infestation of water hyacinth that clogs waterways and harms natural ecosystems.  The collaboration between CCC and the Division of Boating and Waterways would help in the fight to control water hyacinth, as well as other aquatic weeds.  Although contracts currently exist, this bill would codify the relationship between CCC and DBW and encourage their continued partnership."

RBOC-supported "Blue Light" Safety Bill Passes Senate Committee

The RBOC-supported boating public safety measure AB 78 [Cooper] has passed the Senate Committee on Public Safety with bipartisan support.

AB 78 would expand the allowed use of a distinctive blue light on public safety vessels to include vessels owned by fire departments or fire protection districts whenever the vessel may be engaged in law enforcement activities.

The measure next proceeds to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

The author's description of the measure and its objectives:

"Currently the Harbors and Navigation Code (section 652.2) authorizes the use of “blue” lights on law enforcement vessels only. The use of blue lights on emergency vessels indicates to civilian boaters to yield the right-of-way and/or to slow down as to not create a hazard or unnecessary wakes. They do not mean by themselves to stop and succumb to police actions. Fire Departments also work the California waterways and are responsible for public safety responses to include extinguishing boat, structure and bank fires, emergency response and rescue, dead body recovery, medical response and staffing public waterway events. 

"Current law does not allow fire to equip or use blue lights while they are engaged in a public safety capacity or response. This continues to cause difficulties in that fire department vessels cannot respond in the most expedient manner to water way emergencies. Furthermore, when their vessels are stationary at incidents such as fires, search or rescue operations or body recoveries boaters do not use caution when passing or approaching fire vessels. Many fire departments call for mutual aid from law enforcement vessels merely to “standby” with blue lights activated while fire department personnel provide emergency public safety services. This costs time for fire department vessels to wait for law enforcement response and also creates an unnecessary manpower drain because it requires the services of two public safety entities when one would suffice. 

"AB 78 would fix this problem by allowing fire departments to equip their vessels with blue lights and to use them only for public safety responses on the waterways."

 

 

RBOC-Opposed Second Home Mortgage Interest Deduction Elimination Bill Passes Committee

AB 71 [Chiu], legislation opposed by Recreational Boaters of California [RBOC] that would eliminate the state tax deduction for mortgage interest on second homes, has passed the Assembly Commitee on Revenue and Taxation.

RBOC testified in committee that the organization remains opposed to AB 71 unless this provision is removed from the bill. The California Association of Realtors, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and others are also advocating in opposition to this provision.

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 71 that propose to increase the amount of tax credits available for low income housing.

However, RBOC is concerned that the provisions of AB 71 that would eliminate the state tax deduction for mortgage interest on second homes would lead a significant number of prospective boat purchasers not to invest in a recreational vessel.

This would have a direct, negative impact on the future purchase of recreational vessels, the multibillion dollar state boating industry including ancillary products and services, as well as the economic health of many communities across the state that rely on revenues generated by boaters.

RBOC also stresses that it is important to note that the amount of the mortgage interest deduction is already capped regardless of whether the taxpayer has one home or two, and that recreational vessels that are second homes may not necessarily be vacation homes but could be used by owners who commute to work during the week.

RBOC Is Supporting Legislation Placing Water Hyacinth Collaboration Into Law

RBOC is supporting SB 704 [Galgiani, D-Stockton], legislation that would place into law the collaboration between the Division of Boating and Waterways [DBW] and the Conservation Corps, and the use of members of the Conservation Corps in implementing its water hyacinth control programs.

RBOC concurs with Senator Galgiani that the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is threatened by water hyacinth which obstructs waterways and marinas, consumes valuable water resources, creates human health and safety hazards, and damages natural ecosystems by crowding out native plants and wildlife.

DBW is the appropriate and engaged lead agency for eradicating and controlling invasive aquatic plants, and has entered into agreements with the Conservation Corps to perform work in the Delta to help control water hyacinth.

RBOC Supporting Legislation Expanding Use of Blue Lights on Public Safety Vessels

RBOC is supporting AB 78 [Cooper, D-Elk Grove] that would expand the allowed use of a distinctive blue light on public safety vessels to include vessels owned by fire departments or fire protection districts whenever the vessel may be engaged in law enforcement activities.

RBOC believes this measure would improve department vessels response time and fire department personnel safety when they are stationary and engaged in a variety of public safety activities.

Existing law does not allow local or state fire agencies to equip their vessels with emergency blue lights, even though, as first responders, fire departments are required to respond to emergencies such as search and rescue and medical calls for service. AB 78 would remedy this situation.

California Boaters Can Now Take Free Boating Safety Course at Home

BoatUS Foundation online boating safety course approved by

California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 12, 2017 – A new law says California boaters will need to go to school, and the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety has the right course to fit their schedule and budget.

Starting January 1, 2018, Golden State boaters ages 20 or younger who operate a motorized vessel on state waterways will need to have a boater safety card showing successful completion of a boater safety education course. Each year thereafter on January 1, more age groups will be added to the requirement so that by 2025 all California boaters will need to carry a boater card issued by California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW).

The easiest and most affordable way to meet the requirement is to take the BoatUS Foundation’s free online Boating Safety Course – now approved by DBW – which allows boaters to take the course in the comfort of their own home. Once successfully completed, the course does not expire so boaters of all ages don’t need to delay and can complete their boating safety education now.

“We’ve loaded the course with interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters an education that goes well beyond the basics of boating,” said BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston. “The best part of all is that our course is free and can be taken at home. It’s designed so that you can stop and then continue at any time,” added Edmonston.

Upon finishing the course, boaters can print their own certificate of completion, and beginning in 2018, the state will begin to issue official California Boater Education Cards to students who have completed the course between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017.

The course and exam is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and recognized by the US Coast Guard as exceeding the minimum requirements for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.

To take the course, go to BoatUS.org. For more information about California boater education, go to californiaboatercard.com.

RBOC Appreciates Senator Hill's Decision to Remove BUI Provision from SB 65

RBOC is extending its appreciation to Senator Jerry Hill [D-San Mateo] for his consideration of the concerns raised by RBOC and his decision to remove from SB 65 provisions that would have extended the boating under the influence [BUI] laws into the Vehicle Code with a prohibition against individuals drinking alcoholic beverages while operating a boat or riding as passengers aboard a boat.

This provision would have been in addition to the significant BUI laws set forth in the Harbors and Navigation Code. The current, extensive provisions of these state laws aim to strike an effective balance that prevents boating under the influence, effectively enforces the extensive state BUI laws, and acknowledges the boating experience.

As set forth on the state Division of Boating and Waterways website, the state BUI laws include:

  • No person shall operate any vessel, water skis or similar device while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.
  • No person who is addicted to any drug shall operate any vessel, water skis or similar device.
  • No person 21 years of age or older shall operate any vessel, water skis or similar device who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood.
  • A level of at least 0.05 percent, but less than 0.08 percent, may be used with other evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of alcohol.
  • A person under 21 years of age or older who has been arrested for operating a mechanically propelled vessel “under the influence” may be requested to submit to a chemical test to determine blood-alcohol content.
  • A person convicted of operating a vessel while intoxicated could receive up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
  • No person under 21 years of age may operate a vessel, water skis or similar device who has 0.01 percent or more of alcohol in his or her blood by weight.
  • Penalties may include a fine of up to $250 and participation in an alcohol education or community service program.

In addition to supporting these laws, boaters are doing our part financially. Several million dollars are provided to local boating enforcement each year in the form of boater-derived state fuel tax dollars and registration fees.

As amended on March 28, SB 65 focuses on an important issue: the use of marijuana in motor vehicles. The bill would make drinking an alcoholic beverage or smoking or ingesting marijuana or any marijuana product while driving, or while riding as a passenger in, a motor vehicle being driven upon a highway or upon specified lands punishable as either an infraction or a misdemeanor. The bill would also authorize a court to order a defendant to attend and complete a state-licensed driving-under-the-influence program in addition to those penalties.

RBOC Opposing Legislation Eliminating Second Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

RBOC is opposing AB 71 [Chiu] unless the measure is amended to remove the provision that would eliminate the state tax deduction for mortgage interest on second homes.

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 71 that propose to increase the amount of tax credits available for low income housing.

However, RBOC is concerned that the provisions of AB 71 that would eliminate the state tax deduction for mortgage interest on second homes would lead a significant number of prospective boat purchasers not to invest in a recreational vessel.

This would have a direct, negative impact on the future purchase of recreational vessels, the multibillion dollar state boating industry including ancillary products and services, as well as the economic health of many communities across the state that rely on revenues generated by boaters.

It is also important to note that the amount of the mortgage interest deduction is already capped regardless of whether the taxpayer has one home or two, and that recreational vessels that are second homes may not necessarily be vacation homes but could be used by owners who commute to work during the week.

Governor Brown Re-appoints Two to Boating and Waterways Commission

Governor Jerry Brown has re-appointed David Livingston and Virginia Madueno to the Boating and Waterways Commission.

From the Governor's press release:

David Livingston, 52, of Danville, has been reappointed to the California Boating and Waterways Commission, where he has serviced since 2012. Livingston has been sheriff-coroner for Contra Costa County since 2011. He served as chief of police for the City of Concord from 2005 to 2011, City of Pleasant Hill from 2002 to 2005 and for the City of Fremont from 1987 to 2002. Livingston earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Livingston is registered without party preference.

Virginia Madueno, 51, of Riverbank, has been reappointed to the California Boating and Waterways Commission, where she has served since 2013. Madueno has been president at Imagen LLC since 2001. She was a member of the Riverbank City Council from 2005 to 2012, serving as mayor from 2009 to 2012. She was a community organizer at Clean Water Action from 2009 to 2011, a marketing manager officer at the Stanislaus County Department for Employment and Training from 1990 to 1997 and was a public information officer at the Stanislaus Chief Executive Office and Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services from 1997 to 2001. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Madueno is a Democrat.
 

GOVERNOR SIGNS RBOC-SUPPORTED BUI CLARITY MEASURE INTO LAW

California Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law AB 1829 [Levine], legislation supported by RBOC and sponsored by the California State Sheriffs' Association that clarifies current state law pertaining to boating under the influence [BUI].

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 1829 that update the boating under the influence [BUI] law as part of a continued effort to increase safety on our state’s waterways.

Addressing BUI remains important.  According to the 2013 report of the state Division of Boating and Waterways, 32% of all boating fatalities in the state involved alcohol during the period 2009 to 2013.

AB 1829 clarifies existing law and removes obsolete language regarding the arrest of a person suspected of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The measure amends Harbors and Navigation Code Section 655.1. The revision clarifies that an officer who arrests a person on suspicion of operating a vessel or watercraft while under the influence shall inform the person that:

  • A criminal complaint may be filed against him or her for operating a mechanically propelled vessel or manipulating any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug.

  • He or she has a right to refuse chemical testing.

  • An officer has the authority to seek a search warrant compelling the arrested person to submit a blood sample.

  • He or she does not have the right to have an attorney present before stating whether he or she will submit to the chemical testing, before deciding which chemical test or tests to take, or during the administration of the chemical test or tests chosen.

This advisement provision replaces the obsolete provision in the current law. That provision requires an officer to inform a person arrested for a BUI that his or her refusal to submit to, or failure to complete, the required chemical testing may be used against the person in a court of law and that the court may impose increased penalties for that refusal or failure, upon conviction. Neither of those statements is accurate.

The provisions of the measure will take effect on January 1, 2017.

Legislature Sends BUI Clarity Measure to Governor

The Senate today approved and sent to the Governor AB 1829 [Levine], legislation supported by RBOC that would clarify current law pertaining to boating under the influence [BUI].

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 1829 that would update the boating under the influence [BUI] law as part of a continued effort to increase safety on our state’s waterways.

Addressing BUI remains important.  According to the 2013 report of the state Division of Boating and Waterways, 32% of all boating fatalities in the state involved alcohol during the period 2009 to 2013.

AB 1829 would clarify existing law and would remove obsolete language regarding the arrest of a person suspected of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The measure would amend Harbors and Navigation Code Section 655.1. The revision would clarify that an officer who arrests a person on suspicion of operating a vessel or watercraft while under the influence shall inform the person that:

  • A criminal complaint may be filed against him or her for operating a mechanically propelled vessel or manipulating any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug.

  • He or she has a right to refuse chemical testing.

  • An officer has the authority to seek a search warrant compelling the arrested person to submit a blood sample.

  • He or she does not have the right to have an attorney present before stating whether he or she will submit to the chemical testing, before deciding which chemical test or tests to take, or during the administration of the chemical test or tests chosen.

This advisement provision would replace the obsolete provision in the current law. That provision requires an officer to inform a person arrested for a BUI that his or her refusal to submit to, or failure to complete, the required chemical testing may be used against the person in a court of law and that the court may impose increased penalties for that refusal or failure, upon conviction. Neither of those statements is accurate.

AB 1829 has already passed the Assembly. The measure is sponsored by the California State Sheriffs' Association.

RBOC Supporting Measure to Clarify BUI Law

RBOC is supporting AB 1829 [Levine] that would clarify current law pertaining to boating under the influence [BUI] as the measure is considered in the Senate Committee on Public Safety.

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 1829 that would conform the advisement provisions of the Penal Code related to BUI, to existing provisions in the Harbors and Navigation Code. 

The measure would amend Harbors and Navigation Code Section 655.1. The revision would clarify that an officer who arrests a person on suspicion of operating a vessel or watercraft while under the influence shall inform the person that:

  • He or she may be charged with a crime,
  • He or she has the right to refuse chemical testing, and
  • The officer has the authority to seek a search warrant to compel a blood draw if the person refuses to submit to, or fails to complete, a blood test.

This provision would replace the obsolete provision in the current law. That provision requires an officer to inform a person arrested for a BUI that his or her refusal to submit to, or failure to complete, the required chemical testing may be used against the person in a court of law and that the court may impose increased penalties for that refusal or failure, upon conviction. Neither of those statements is accurate.

AB 1829 has already passed the Assembly. The measure is sponsored by the California State Sheriffs' Association.
 

 

Bill Pirating Recreational Boater Funds for Commmercial Vessel Cleanup Held in Committee

The Assembly Appropriations Committee has "held under submission" the RBOC-opposed AB 2092 [Frazier] that would authorize the use of boater-generated state taxes and fees for the cleanup of commercial vessels.

With this action, AB 2092 did not proceed through the Appropriations Committee prior to the deadline for bills to proceed to the Assembly Floor [Assembly Third Reading].

Many thanks to the many boaters statewide who took action to contact their elected representatives and express concerns with this important measure. Your actions make a difference.

Save Boater Fundsfrom Being Pirated for Commercial Vessel Cleanup - Contact Assembly Appropriations Committee Members Prior to May 27

RBOC is continuing to encourage California Boaters to contact their elected representatives on the Assembly Appropriations Committee and to urge a “no” vote on AB 2092 [Frazier] in Committee unless the bill is amended so that recreational boaters’ funds will not be used to rid the waterways of abandoned commercial vessels.

Please take action today. The committe's decision on the bill will occur prior to a May 27 deadline.

To take action: click here

Take Action Today to Protect Recreational Boater Funds from Being Pirated for Commercial Vessel Cleanup [4/21]

California Boaters are encouraged to contact their elected representatives on the Assembly Appropriations Committee and to urge a “no” vote on AB 2092 [Frazier] in Committee unless the bill is amended so that recreational boaters’ funds will not be used to rid the waterways of abandoned commercial vessels.

Please take action today. The bill could be heard next week, and must pass through committee prior to a May 27 deadline.

To take action: click here

Key issues:

AB 2092 [Frazier] would target recreational boater funds for the cleanup of abandoned commercial vessels. 

Commercial vessels are much more expensive to clean-up and the cost of one vessel could exceed the entire amount of available funds.

The owners of commercial vessels do not contribute to our fund – only recreational vessel owners do.

The demand for clean-up of recreational vessels already exceeds the amount of available funds. These vessels should remain the top priority at this time.

There is no condition in the bill restricting the cleanup of abandoned commercial vessels to those that pose a danger to recreational boaters.