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Maryland Boating Safety Tips

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | dui/dwi, motor vehicle accidents |

The official start of the boating season in Maryland is just around the corner. Memorial Day is the first official day of boating in Maryland. Some, of course, are already enjoying Maryland’s waterways. Many boaters, however, are prepping their vessels. Boat prep should also include safety equipment. In 2020, Maryland had 155 reportable boating accidents. Sixty-four of the accidents resulted in injuries and six were fatal. This is better than 2019 when Maryland saw 144 reportable boating accidents and 16 fatal accidents resulting in 20 deaths.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers these boating safety tips, including:

  • Wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket
  • Follow speed and navigational rules
  • Taking a boating safety course
  • Checking your vessel’s equipment to make sure it works and is up-to-date
  • Never boating under the influence

Youthful boaters who want to drive the boat need a license. Those born after July 1, 1972 must take an eight-hour basic boating course that is taught by trained instructors. A free temporary boater safety certificate is also available and is valid for ten days.

Boating violations will be taking a more serious turn this year. Boating under the influence (BUI) and boating while intoxicated (BWI) will come with stronger penalties under a bill sent to Maryland’s governor for signature. Those convicted of operating a boat on Maryland waters while under the influence of alcohol won’t be able to get back on the water for two years. If convicted and a death occurs, convicted boaters can’t get back on the water for as many as five years.

For those wondering how Maryland authorities will keep track of this, DNR along with the National Resources Police Force will set up and maintain a database of people prohibited from operating a vessel in Maryland waters.

Also, under a law that went into effect last October, BUIs and BWIs as well as DUIs and DWIs will count toward drunk driving charges. The law aims to determine penalties for repeat offenders more accurately.

If you’re facing BUI or BWI charges, you should talk to a boating accident attorney. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience with Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh BUIs and BWIs. An Ocean City boating accident attorney can help if you are facing boating charges. The consultation is free.

Maronick Law LLC can with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact the law office at 410-881-4022 or via our website for a free consultation.



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