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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXIV
Chapter 327
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F.S. 327.731
327.731 Mandatory education for violators.
(1) A person convicted of a criminal violation under this chapter, convicted of a noncriminal infraction under this chapter if the infraction resulted in a reportable boating accident, or convicted of two noncriminal infractions as specified in s. 327.73(1)(h)-(k), (m), (o), (p), and (s)-(y), the infractions occurring within a 12-month period, must:
(a) Enroll in, attend, and successfully complete, at his or her own expense, a classroom or online boating safety course that is approved by and meets the minimum standards established by commission rule;
(b) File with the commission within 90 days proof of successful completion of the course;
(c) Refrain from operating a vessel until he or she has filed proof of successful completion of the course with the commission; and
(d) Pay a fine of $500. The clerk of the court shall remit all fines assessed and collected under this paragraph to the Department of Revenue to be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund to support law enforcement activities.
(2) For the purposes of this section, “conviction” means a finding of guilt, or the acceptance of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether or not adjudication was withheld or whether imposition of sentence was withheld, deferred, or suspended. Any person who operates a vessel on the waters of this state in violation of the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) The commission shall print on the reverse side of the defendant’s copy of the boating citation a notice of the provisions of this section. Upon conviction, the clerk of the court shall notify the defendant that it is unlawful for him or her to operate any vessel until he or she has complied with this section, but failure of the clerk of the court to provide such a notice shall not be a defense to a charge of unlawful operation of a vessel under subsection (2).
(4) The commission shall maintain a program to ensure compliance with the mandatory boating safety education requirements under this section. This program must:
(a) Track any citations resulting in a conviction under this section and the disposition of such citations.
(b) Send specific notices to each person subject to the requirement for mandatory boating safety education.
History.s. 7, ch. 88-133; s. 49, ch. 91-224; s. 465, ch. 95-148; s. 4, ch. 96-187; s. 9, ch. 98-308; s. 4, ch. 99-162; s. 32, ch. 99-245; s. 24, ch. 2000-362; s. 5, ch. 2004-74; s. 5, ch. 2006-172; s. 19, ch. 2009-86; s. 6, ch. 2011-152; s. 3, ch. 2014-136; s. 3, ch. 2016-233; s. 7, ch. 2022-197.