130th Ohio General Assembly
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(122nd General Assembly)
(Amended Substitute House Bill Number 502)



AN ACT
To amend sections 1547.06 and 1547.99 and to enact sections 1547.05, 1547.051, and 1547.052 of the Revised Code to prohibit a person born on or after January 1, 1982, from operating powercraft powered by more than ten horsepower unless the person successfully has completed a safe boater course or proficiency examination, to make other changes to the law governing the operation of powercraft, and to delay the effective date of this act until January 1, 2000.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1 .  That sections 1547.06 and 1547.99 be amended and sections 1547.05, 1547.051, and 1547.052 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 1547.05. No person born on or after January 1, 1982, shall operate on the waters in this state a powercraft powered by more than ten horsepower, unless the operator successfully has completed either a safe boater course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators or a proctored or nonproctored proficiency examination that tests knowledge of information included in the curriculum of such a course, and has received a certificate as evidence of successful completion of the course or examination.

Sec. 1547.051. A person born on or after January 1, 1982, who is operating on the waters in this state a powercraft powered by more than ten horsepower and who is stopped by a law enforcement officer in the enforcement of Chapter 1547. of the Revised Code or rules adopted under it shall present to the law enforcement officer, not later than seventy-two hours after being stopped, a certificate obtained by the person pursuant to section 1547.05 of the Revised Code prior to being stopped or proof of holding such a certificate. Failure of the person to present the certificate or proof of holding it within seventy-two hours constitutes prima-facie evidence of a violation of section 1547.05 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 1547.052. (A) No rental business shall lease, hire, or rent a powercraft powered by more than ten horsepower for operation on the waters in this state to a person born on or after January 1, 1982, unless the person meets one of the following requirements:

(1) The person signs an affidavit that the person has successfully completed a safe boater course approved by the national association of state boating law administrators or has successfully completed a proficiency examination as provided in section 1547.05 of the Revised Code.

(2) The person receives educational materials from the rental business and successfully passes, with a score of ninety per cent or better, an abbreviated examination given by the rental business. The achievement of a passing score on the examination shall be indicated on or attached to the powercraft rental agreement.

(B) Any person born on or after January 1, 1982, operating or supervising the operation of a leased, hired, or rented powercraft shall:

(1) Meet the requirements for boater education of division (A) of this section.

(2) Be named as an operator on the agreement that leases, hires, or rents the powercraft.

(C) The division of watercraft shall make available to all watercraft rental businesses in Ohio boater safety educational materials and an abbreviated examination that shall be used by the watercraft rental business for the purposes of division (A)(2) of this section.

Sec. 1547.06.  (A) Except as otherwise provided in this division, no person under sixteen years of age shall operate a personal watercraft on the waters in this state. A person who is not less than twelve, nor more than fifteen years of age may operate a personal watercraft if a supervising person eighteen years of age or older is aboard the personal watercraft and, in the case of a supervising person born on or after January 1, 1982, if the supervising person holds a certificate obtained under section 1547.05 Of the Revised Code or, in the case of a rented powercraft, meets the requirements of section 1547.052 of the Revised Code.

(B) No person under twelve years of age shall operate any vessel that is not a personal watercraft on the waters in this state unless the person is under the direct visual and audible supervision, during the operation, of a person who is eighteen years of age or older. If the vessel is This division does not apply to a personal watercraft, which shall be governed by division (A) of this section, or to a powercraft, other than a personal watercraft, powered by more than ten horsepower, the supervising person which shall be aboard the powercraft governed by division (C) of this section.

(C) No person under twelve years of age shall operate on the waters in this state a powercraft, other than a personal watercraft, powered by more than ten horsepower unless the person is under the direct visual and audible supervision, during the operation, of a person eighteen years of age or older who is aboard the powercraft and, in the case of such a supervising person born on or after January 1, 1982, who holds a certificate obtained under section 1547.05 Of the Revised Code or, in the case of a rented powercraft, meets the requirements of section 1547.052 of the Revised Code.

(D) No supervising person eighteen years of age or older shall permit any person who is under the supervising person's supervision and who is operating a vessel on the waters in this state to violate any section of this chapter or a rule adopted under it.

Sec. 1547.99.  (A) Whoever violates section 1547.91 of the Revised Code is guilty of a felony of the fourth degree.

(B) Whoever violates section 1547.10, division (I) of section 1547.111, section 1547.13, or section 1547.66 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(C) Whoever violates a provision of this chapter or a rule adopted thereunder, for which no penalty is otherwise provided, is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

(D) Whoever violates section 1547.07 or 1547.12 of the Revised Code without causing injury to persons or damage to property is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(E) Whoever violates section 1547.07 or 1547.12 of the Revised Code causing injury to persons or damage to property is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(F) Whoever violates division (M) of section 1547.54, division (G) of section 1547.30, or section 1547.131, 1547.25, 1547.33, 1547.38, 1547.39, 1547.40, 1547.69, or 1547.92 of the Revised Code or a rule adopted under division (A)(2) of section 1547.52 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(G) Whoever violates section 1547.11 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree and shall be punished as provided in division (G)(1), (2), or (3) of this section.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (G)(2) or (3) of this section, the court shall sentence the offender to a term of imprisonment of three consecutive days and may sentence the offender pursuant to section 2929.21 of the Revised Code to a longer term of imprisonment. In addition, the court shall impose upon the offender a fine of not less than one hundred fifty nor more than one thousand dollars.

The court may suspend the execution of the mandatory three consecutive days of imprisonment that it is required to impose by division (G)(1) of this section if the court, in lieu of the suspended term of imprisonment, places the offender on probation and requires the offender to attend, for three consecutive days, a drivers' intervention program that is certified pursuant to section 3793.10 of the Revised Code. The court also may suspend the execution of any part of the mandatory three consecutive days of imprisonment that it is required to impose by division (G)(1) of this section if the court places the offender on probation for part of the three consecutive days; requires the offender to attend, for that part of the three consecutive days, a drivers' intervention program that is certified pursuant to section 3793.10 of the Revised Code; and sentences the offender to a term of imprisonment equal to the remainder of the three consecutive days that the offender does not spend attending the drivers' intervention program. The court may require the offender, as a condition of probation, to attend and satisfactorily complete any treatment or education programs, in addition to the required attendance at a drivers' intervention program, that the operators of the drivers' intervention program determine that the offender should attend and to report periodically to the court on the offender's progress in the programs. The court also may impose any other conditions of probation on the offender that it considers necessary.

(2) If, within five years of the offense, the offender has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one violation of section 1547.11 of the Revised Code, of a municipal ordinance relating to operating a watercraft or manipulating any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or alcohol and a drug of abuse, of a municipal ordinance relating to operating a watercraft or manipulating any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device with a prohibited concentration of alcohol in the blood, breath, or urine, or of section 2903.06 or 2903.07 of the Revised Code in a case in which the jury or judge found that the offender was under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or alcohol and a drug of abuse, the court shall sentence the offender to a term of imprisonment of ten consecutive days and may sentence the offender pursuant to section 2929.21 of the Revised Code to a longer term of imprisonment. In addition, the court shall impose upon the offender a fine of not less than one hundred fifty nor more than one thousand dollars.

In addition to any other sentence that it imposes upon the offender, the court may require the offender to attend a drivers' intervention program that is certified pursuant to section 3793.10 of the Revised Code.

(3) If, within five years of the offense, the offender has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to more than one violation of section 1547.11 of the Revised Code, of a municipal ordinance relating to operating a watercraft or manipulating any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or alcohol and a drug of abuse, of a municipal ordinance relating to operating a watercraft or manipulating any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device with a prohibited concentration of alcohol in the blood, breath, or urine, or of section 2903.06 or 2903.07 of the Revised Code in a case in which the jury or judge found that the offender was under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or alcohol and a drug of abuse, the court shall sentence the offender to a term of imprisonment of thirty consecutive days and may sentence the offender to a longer term of imprisonment of not more than one year. In addition, the court shall impose upon the offender a fine of not less than one hundred fifty nor more than one thousand dollars.

In addition to any other sentence that it imposes upon the offender, the court may require the offender to attend a drivers' intervention program that is certified pursuant to section 3793.10 of the Revised Code.

(4) Upon a showing that imprisonment would seriously affect the ability of an offender sentenced pursuant to division (G)(1), (2), or (3) of this section to continue the offender's employment, the court may authorize that the offender be granted work release from imprisonment after the offender has served the three, ten, or thirty consecutive days of imprisonment that the court is required by division (G)(1), (2), or (3) of this section to impose. No court shall authorize work release from imprisonment during the three, ten, or thirty consecutive days of imprisonment that the court is required by division (G)(1), (2), or (3) of this section to impose. The duration of the work release shall not exceed the time necessary each day for the offender to commute to and from the place of employment and the place of imprisonment and the time actually spent under employment.

(5) Notwithstanding any section of the Revised Code that authorizes the suspension of the imposition or execution of a sentence or the placement of an offender in any treatment program in lieu of imprisonment, no court shall suspend the ten or thirty consecutive days of imprisonment required to be imposed by division (G)(2) or (3) of this section or place an offender who is sentenced pursuant to division (G)(2) or (3) of this section in any treatment program in lieu of imprisonment until after the offender has served the ten or thirty consecutive days of imprisonment required to be imposed pursuant to division (G)(2) or (3) of this section. Notwithstanding any section of the Revised Code that authorizes the suspension of the imposition or execution of a sentence or the placement of an offender in any treatment program in lieu of imprisonment, no court, except as specifically authorized by division (G)(1) of this section, shall suspend the three consecutive days of imprisonment required to be imposed by division (G)(1) of this section or place an offender who is sentenced pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section in any treatment program in lieu of imprisonment until after the offender has served the three consecutive days of imprisonment required to be imposed pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section.

(H) Whoever violates section 1547.304 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and also shall be assessed any costs incurred by the state or a county, township, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision in disposing of an abandoned junk vessel or outboard motor, less any money accruing to the state, county, township, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision from that disposal.

(I) Whoever violates division (B) or (C) of section 1547.49 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

(J) Whoever violates section 1547.31 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on a first offense. On each subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(K) Whoever violates section 1547.05 or 1547.051 Of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree if the violation is not related to a collision, injury to a person, or damage to property and a misdemeanor of the third degree if the violation is related to a collision, injury to a person, or damage to property.

(L) The sentencing court, in addition to the penalty provided under this section for a violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under it that involves a powercraft powered by more than ten horsepower and that, in the opinion of the court, involves a threat to the safety of persons or property, shall order the offender to complete successfully a boating course approved by the national association of state boating law administrators before the offender is allowed to operate a powercraft powered by more than ten horsepower on the waters in this state. Violation of a court order entered under this division is punishable as contempt under Chapter 2705. Of the Revised Code.

SECTION 2 .  That existing sections 1547.06 and 1547.99 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

SECTION 3 .  Sections 1 and 2 of this act shall take effect January 1, 2000.

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