Know the boating regulations on Alabama waterways

Know the boating regulations on Alabama waterways

Alabama has specific boating regulations for operating vessels and personal watercraft on the waterways. As the summer comes to a close and people try to get in that last trip to the Gulf, river or lake, it is important to make sure that you are following the regulations because failure to do so could lead to dangerous conditions.

Boating Safety Regulations in Alabama

One important thing to remember is that there are age limits for operating vessels and personal watercraft. You must be 14 years old and have a vessel license if you are going to operate any form of watercraft in this state. People who are 12 or older can operate a vessel if there is an adult present to supervise.

Creating hazardous wakes is forbidden when you are near a harbor, marina or another vessel. This is important because if someone is harmed in an accident that was caused by the hazardous wake, that person could seek compensation for his or her injuries from the person who created the wake.

Anyone who is operating a boat or any other vessel mustn’t be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For the purpose of alcohol, anyone with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more is considered to be under the influence, which is illegal. Blood alcohol concentration is determined in the same way on the waterways as on dry land — through a breath test or similar method.

Seeking Compensation for Boating Accidents

For victims who are injured by boaters who don’t follow these regulations, seeking compensation is possible. The compensation could include seeking repayment of emergency transport to the hospital, medical bills and other similar expenses, as well as other financial damages that were caused by the injury.

Source: Outdoor Alabama, “Boating Rules and Regulations,” accessed Aug. 30, 2016