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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
May 29, 2008
S. Printed 5/29/08--H.
Read the first time April 15, 2008.
TO AMEND SECTION 50-21-80, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO ENFORCEMENT OF BOATING LAWS, SO AS TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR THIS ENFORCEMENT, THE AUTHORITY OF ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO ENFORCE THESE PROVISIONS, AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION; TO AMEND SECTION 50-21-114, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO OPERATING A WATER DEVICE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS AND THE IMPLIED CONSENT FOR A BREATH TEST TO DETERMINE BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVELS, SO AS TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR PROCEDURAL MATTERS IN REGARD TO THESE TESTS; TO AMEND SECTION 50-21-130, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO DUTIES OF A VESSEL OPERATOR INVOLVED IN A COLLISION, SO AS TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR THESE DUTIES INCLUDING WHEN AN ACCIDENT REPORT IS REQUIRED AND TO STIPULATE THE PERSONS AND ENTITIES WHO MAY OBTAIN A COPY OF THE REPORT; BY ADDING SECTION 50-21-118 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE OPERATOR OF A WATERCRAFT IS STRICTLY LIABLE FOR THE ACTIONS AND CONDUCT OF ALL PERSONS ON BOARD AND ANY PERSONS BEING TOWED BY THE WATERCRAFT; TO AMEND SECTION 50-21-175, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO WATERCRAFT REQUIRED TO HEAVE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE MAGISTRATES COURT RETAINS JURISDICTION OVER VIOLATIONS OF THIS SECTION; BY ADDING SECTION 50-21-190 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL TO ABANDON A WATERCRAFT OR OUTBOARD MOTOR ON THE PUBLIC LANDS OR WATERS OF THIS STATE OR ON PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE PROPERTY OWNER AND TO ALSO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 50-21-710, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO AIDS TO NAVIGATION AND REGULATORY MARKERS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT ALL NO WAKE ZONES HERETOFORE ESTABLISHED ARE CONSIDERED ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF THIS SECTION; AND TO REPEAL SECTIONS 50-21-132, 50-21-133, 50-21-135, 50-21-136, 50-21-137, 50-21-138, 50-21-139, 50-21-142, 50-21-143, 50-21-144, 50-21-145, 50-21-147, AND 50-21-149 RELATING TO NO WAKE ZONES OR OTHER REGULATION OF WATERCRAFT ACTIVITIES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 50-21-80 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 181 of 1993, is further amended to read:
"Section 50-21-80. Any person employed or elected by this State or political subdivision thereof, whose duty it is to preserve the peace or to make arrests or to enforce the law
, including, but not limited to, members of the sheriff's departments, state police, enforcement officers, or deputies, or other qualified persons, upon recommendation of the appropriate agency, may , upon recommendation of the appropriate agency, be empowered to enforce the provisions of this chapter. The department shall be the agency primarily responsible for enforcement of this chapter and rules and regulations issued thereunder all laws pertaining to boating. Any such person shall also have the authority to stop and board any vessel subject to the provisions of this chapter or to any rule or regulation for the purpose of inspection or determining compliance with the provisions of this chapter and is empowered to issue a summons for appearance in court or before a magistrate or make arrest for violations of this chapter or of the rules and regulations prescribed thereunder under it. Every vessel subject to this chapter if underway and upon being hailed by a designated law-enforcement officer shall stop immediately and lay to, or shall maneuver in such a way as to permit such officer to come aboard."
SECTION 2. Section 50-21-130(A), (C), and (D) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 124 of 1999, is further amended to read:
"(A) It is the duty of the operator of a vessel involved in a collision, accident, or other casualty, if he can do so without serious danger to his own vessel, crew, or passengers
, and guests, to render assistance as may be practical or necessary to persons affected by the collision, accident, or other casualty including personal injury or property damage and also to give his name, address, and identification of his vessel in writing to any person injured and to the owner of any property damaged in the collision, accident, or other casualty. A person who fails to stop or to comply with the requirements of this section, is guilty of:
(1) a misdemeanor, when personal injury or property damage results but great bodily injury or death does not result; and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than one year or fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, or both;
(2) a felony when great bodily injury results and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than ten years and fined not less than five thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars; or
(3) a felony when death results and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not less than one year nor more than twenty-five years and fined not less than ten thousand dollars nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars.
(C) In the case of a reportable accident, the operator or owner of any vessel involved shall file a full description of the accident with the department
, including any information the department may require. If the operator or owner is incapable of making the report, the investigating officer shall submit the report and provide any information the department may require when requested as part of the investigation . In addition, the operator and owner shall file a full description of the accident with the department within forty-eight hours of the accident. The owner or operator of a watercraft involved must furnish his name, address, and identification of his watercraft in writing to any person injured or the owner of any property damaged in the accident as soon as possible after the collision. In the event an accident results in death, loss of consciousness, or serious bodily injury, the owner or operator immediately shall notify the department.
(D) The accident report
shall must be without prejudice, shall and must be for the information of the department. , and shall not be open to public inspection. Provided, however, the report shall be made available to any person injured or damaged or to any person alleged to have caused injury or damage in the accident, or to his attorney. The fact that such report has been made shall be admissible in evidence solely to show compliance with this section but no such report nor any part thereof nor any statement contained therein shall be admissible as evidence for any purpose in any civil trial. An insured may not be reimbursed for property lost until he files a report in compliance with this section. However, a person alleged to have sustained injury or property damage or alleged to have caused injury or property damage, their attorney, personal representative, or an insurer may obtain a copy of the report. The fact the report has been made is admissible solely to show compliance with this section, but no report or any part or statement contained in the report is admissible as evidence in a civil trial. An insured alleged to be responsible for the accident cannot be reimbursed for property damages until the report is filed."
SECTION 3. Section 50-21-175 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 342 of 2002, is further amended by adding:
"(D) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the magistrates court retains jurisdiction for violations of this section."
SECTION 4. Chapter 21, Title 50 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 50-21-190. (A) It is unlawful to abandon a watercraft or outboard motor on the public lands or waters of this State or on private property without permission of the property owner. This section does not apply to persons who abandon a watercraft in an emergency for the safety of the persons onboard; however, after the emergency is over, the owner and operator of the abandoned watercraft shall make a bona fide attempt to recover the watercraft.
(B) A person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned up to thirty days or both. In addition, the owner must remove the abandoned watercraft within fourteen days of conviction. The magistrates and municipal courts are vested with jurisdiction for cases arising under this section.
(C) An abandoned watercraft must be removed at the risk and expense of the owner."
SECTION 5. Section 50-21-710 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 289 of 2006, is further amended to read:
"Section 50-21-710. (A) As used in this section:
(1) 'Aids to navigation' means any device designed or intended to assist a navigator to determine his position or safe course or to warn him of danger or obstructions to navigation.
(2) 'Regulatory markers' means any device which indicates to a vessel operator the existence of dangerous areas as well as those which are intended to restrict or control, such as speed zones and areas dedicated to a particular use or to provide general information and directions. This includes bathing markers, speed zone markers, information markers, danger zone markers, boat keep out areas, mooring buoys, wharves, docks, obstructions or hazards to navigation, and any activity, object, or construction in the waters of the State.
(B) The department may promulgate regulations for the uniform marking of the waters of the State and may regulate the operation of all vessels, watercraft, and water devices through the placement of aids to navigation and regulatory markers. The regulations shall establish a marking system compatible with the system of aids to navigation prescribed by the United States Coast Guard or its successor agency. No city, county, or person shall mark or obstruct the waters of this State in any manner so as to endanger the operation of watercraft or conflict with the marking system prescribed by the department.
(C) The operation of any vessel, watercraft, or water device within a prohibited area is negligent operation unless the seriousness of the operation within a prohibited area constitutes reckless operation.
(D) It shall be unlawful for a person to operate a vessel, watercraft, or water device on the waters of this State in a manner other than that prescribed or permitted by regulatory markers.
(E) No person may moor or fasten a vessel, watercraft, or water device to or wilfully damage, tamper, remove, obstruct, or interfere with any aid to navigation or regulatory marker established pursuant to this chapter.
(F) All no wake zones heretofore established are considered established pursuant to the authority of this section.
(G) A person who violates a provision of this section or regulation promulgated pursuant to this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished as provided in this chapter."
SECTION 6. Sections 50-21-132, 50-21-133, 50-21-135, 50-21-136, 50-21-137, 50-21-138, 50-21-139, 50-21-142, 50-21-143, 50-21-144, 50-21-145, 50-21-147, and 50-21-149 of the 1976 Code are repealed.
SECTION 7. This act takes effect six months after approval by the Governor.
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