Enforcement and Penalties
The boating laws and regulations of Florida are enforced by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and its officers, county sheriffs and their deputies, and any other authorized law enforcement officer.
- Boaters must stop when requested to do so by a law enforcement officer.
- Violators can expect enforcement action.
- Persons who violate boating laws and regulations may be subject to fines or, for more serious violations, subject to arrest.
- Upon conviction for serious offenses (like misdemeanors or felonies), violators may be sentenced to heavy fines and/or jail time.
- Florida law also requires mandatory education for violators.
- Persons who are convicted of a criminal boating violation, two non-criminal boating safety infractions within a 12-month period, or a non-criminal boating infraction that resulted in an accident are required to attend and successfully complete an approved boating safety course before operating a vessel in Florida again. This law requires attendance in a classroom course.
- In addition to the above, anyone convicted of a criminal boating violation or a non-criminal boating infraction that resulted in an accident also must take an approved four-hour online course for violators.
- Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website to find a course that meets these requirements.