Legal Question in Admiralty Law in Florida

was operating a boat when a county police officer also in a boat stopped me .after checking my motor vehicle licence. we discoverd my licence had been suspended.question? can he arrest me for operating a boat with a suspended motor vehicle licence?

Asked on 7/11/11, 5:33 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Alan Wagner Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore P.A.

No, I doubt it.

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Answered on 7/11/11, 7:38 pm
Robert Gardana Robert L. Gardana, PA

The difference is that you have to be operating a motor vehicle on the highways, not a vessel on the waters. The statute is as follows:

F.S. 322.34 Driving while license suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified.1.Except as provided in subsection (2), any person whose driver's license or driving privilege has been canceled, suspended, or revoked, except a "habitual traffic offender" as defined in s. 322.264, who drives a vehicle upon the highways of this state while such license or privilege is canceled, suspended, or revoked is guilty of a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

BUT, as you did not give your age, in Florida:

To operate a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or greater (including PWCs), a person who was born on or after January 1, 1988 must have completed a boater education course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) or passed an approved equivalency exam.

Operators who are required to have completed a boating education course or exam must carry on board:

His or her Boating Safety Education ID Card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and ...

A photographic identification card.

These operators are exempt from the boater education requirement:

Persons licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as a master of a vessel

Persons operating on a private lake or pond

Operators who are accompanied on board by a person who is exempt from the education requirement or by a person who is at least 18 years old, possesses the required identification cards, and is attendant to the operation of the vessel and responsible for any violation that occurs

Persons operating a vessel within 90 days after purchase who have a bill of sale on board and available for inspection

No one under 14 years of age may operate any PWC on Florida waters at any time, even if such person possesses a Boating Safety Education ID Card.

No one under the age of 18 years may rent/lease a PWC.

It is also illegal for the owner of a PWC to knowingly allow a person under 14 years of age to operate a PWC.

Changes to the Boating Safety Education ID Card Requirements as of October 1, 2011

Effective October 1, 2011, operators born on or after January 1, 1988, who are required to have completed a boating education course or equivalency exam must carry on board:

His or her Florida Boating Safety Education ID Card and a photographic identification card or ...

His or her course completion certificate showing successful completion of an FWC´┐Żapproved boating safety course and a photographic identification card. The certificate:

Must give the operator's first and last names, their date of birth, and the date they passed the course or equivalency exam and ...

Is valid for up to 90 days from the day the certificate was issued and ...

Is not a permanent replacement for the Florida Boating Safety Education ID Card.

I hope this is helpful.

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Answered on 7/12/11, 8:17 pm

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