130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 594  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
H. B. No. 594


Representatives Damschroder, Murray 

Cosponsors: Representatives Antonio, Brenner, Celeste, Cera, Gardner, Gonzales, Hagan, R., McGregor, Okey, Pillich, Roegner, Smith, Wachtmann, Adams, J. 



A BILL
To amend sections 1547.52 and 1547.521 of the Revised Code to establish conditions for watercraft safety inspections.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1.  That sections 1547.52 and 1547.521 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 1547.52.  (A) The division of watercraft shall be administered by the chief of the division of watercraft. The chief may adopt, amend, and rescind:
(1) Rules considered necessary by the chief to supplement the identification, operation, titling, use, registration, and numbering of watercraft or vessels as provided in this chapter and Chapter 1548. of the Revised Code;
(2) Rules governing the navigation of vessels on waters in this state, including, but not limited to, rules regarding steering and sailing, the conduct of vessels in sight of one another or in restricted visibility, lights and shapes of lights used on vessels, and sound and light signals. As the chief considers necessary, these navigational rules shall be consistent with and equivalent to the regulations and interpretive rulings governing inland waters adopted or issued under the "Inland Navigational Rules Act of 1980," 94 Stat. 3415, 33 U.S.C.A. 151, 1604, 1605, 1608, 2001 to 2008, and 2071 to 2073.
(3) Rules governing the use, visitation, protection, and administration of wild river areas, scenic river areas, and recreational river areas;
(4) Rules governing vessel safety inspection checkpoints, including procedures that comply with statutory and constitutional provisions governing searches and seizures by law enforcement officers;
(5) Rules establishing fees and charges for all of the following:
(a) Boating skill development classes and other educational classes;
(b) Law enforcement services provided at special events when the services are in addition to normal enforcement duties;
(c) Inspections of vessels or motors conducted under this chapter or Chapter 1548. of the Revised Code;
(d) The conducting of stream impact reviews of any planned or proposed construction, modification, renovation, or development project that may potentially impact a watercourse within a designated wild, scenic, or recreational river area.
All rules adopted by the chief under division (A) of this section shall be adopted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code and are subject to the prior approval of the director of natural resources.
(B) The chief, with the approval of the director, may employ such clerical and technical help as the chief considers necessary.
(C) The chief may designate license agents with the approval of the director.
(D) The division is hereby designated as the agency to administer the Ohio boating safety program and allocated federal funds under, and the chief shall prepare and submit reports in such form as may be required by, the "Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971," 85 Stat. 222, 46 U.S.C.A. 1475(a)(6), as amended.
(E) The chief may sell any of the following:
(1) Items related to or that promote boating safety, including, but not limited to, pins, badges, books, bulletins, maps, publications, calendars, and other educational articles;
(2) Artifacts pertaining to boating;
(3) Confiscated or forfeited items;
(4) Surplus equipment.
Sec. 1547.521.  (A) The law enforcement officers of the division of watercraft shall be known as "state watercraft officers." The chief of the division of watercraft and state watercraft officers:
(1) Shall develop and conduct educational programs in vessel safety, sanitation, and operation and in other related subjects that the chief considers appropriate or necessary;
(2) Shall enforce this chapter and Chapter 1548. of the Revised Code and rules adopted under them, and may enforce laws prohibiting the dumping of refuse, trash, or litter into the waters in this state and Chapters 2925. and 3719. of the Revised Code on all waters in the state;
(3) On any lands owned, controlled, maintained, or administered by the department of natural resources and on any waters in this state, shall have the authority specified under section 2935.03 of the Revised Code for peace officers of the department of natural resources to keep the peace, to enforce all laws and rules governing those lands and waters, and to make arrests for violation of those laws and rules, provided that the authority shall be exercised on lands or waters administered by another division of the department only pursuant to an agreement with the chief of that division or to a request for assistance by an enforcement officer of that division in an emergency. The jurisdiction of state watercraft officers shall be concurrent with that of the peace officers of the county, township, or municipal corporation in which the violation occurs.
(4) For the purpose of enforcing the laws and rules that they have the authority to enforce, may stop, board, and conduct a safety inspection of any vessel;
(5) May serve and execute any citation, summons, warrant, or other process issued with respect to any law that they have the authority to enforce.
(B)(1) Except as authorized by division (B)(2) of this section, no state watercraft officer, law enforcement officer as described in section 1547.63 of the Revised Code, or peace officer of a county, township, or municipal corporation with concurrent jurisdiction shall stop or board any vessel to conduct a safety inspection of the vessel.
(2) A state watercraft officer, law enforcement officer as described in section 1547.63 of the Revised Code, or peace officer of a county, township, or municipal corporation with concurrent jurisdiction may stop, board, and conduct a safety inspection of any vessel for the purpose of enforcing the laws and rules that the officer has the authority to enforce, if either of following applies:
(a) The watercraft officer, law enforcement officer authorized under section 1547.63 of the Revised Code, or peace officer has a reasonable suspicion that the vessel, the vessel's equipment, or the vessel's operator is in violation of this chapter or rules adopted under it or is otherwise engaged in a violation of a law of this state or an applicable ordinance of a municipal corporation within the territorial jurisdiction of the officer;
(b) The watercraft officer, law enforcement officer authorized under section 1547.63 of the Revised Code, or peace officer is conducting a vessel safety inspection in the course of an authorized checkpoint operation in accordance with rules adopted by the chief of the division of watercraft under section 1547.52 of the Revised Code.
(C) A state watercraft officer may render assistance to a state or local law enforcement officer at the request of that officer or may render assistance to a state or local law enforcement officer in the event of an emergency.
State watercraft officers serving outside the division of watercraft under this section or serving under the terms of a mutual aid compact authorized under section 1501.02 of the Revised Code shall be considered as performing services within their regular employment for the purposes of compensation, pension or indemnity fund rights, workers' compensation, and other rights or benefits to which they may be entitled as incidents of their regular employment.
State watercraft officers serving outside the division of watercraft under this section or under a mutual aid compact retain personal immunity from civil liability as specified in section 9.86 of the Revised Code and shall not be considered an employee of a political subdivision for purposes of Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code. A political subdivision that uses state watercraft officers under this section or under the terms of a mutual aid compact authorized under section 1501.02 of the Revised Code is not subject to civil liability under Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code as the result of any action or omission of any state watercraft officer acting under this section or under a mutual aid compact.
Section 2.  That existing sections 1547.52 and 1547.521 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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