Big Texas, Big Ticket

March 2007 News

Texas may join a growing list of states requiring mandatory boater education for almost all motorboat operators, the Houston Chronicle reports.


Under a proposed bill, anyone operating a boat powered by a 10 hp or larger motor would have to successfully complete a state-approved boater education course.


Violation of the requirement would be punishable by a fine of $25 to $500.

Currently, Texas requires boater education certification only for those younger than 18 operating a boat powered by a 15 hp or larger motor.


There also is a proposal under consideration to set up boating sobriety checkpoints on Texas public waters.


The bill would allow any law enforcement agency patrolling public waters to establish temporary checkpoints to enforce the state's boating-while-intoxicated law.


The bill, which has specific instructions on how the checkpoints can be operated, includes language allowing a law enforcement officer to perform a field sobriety test on a boater only if the officer has reasonable suspicion or probable cause to conduct the test.

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