Who Enforces Boating Laws?
The boating laws of New Mexico are enforced by those who have the authority given to a peace officer.
- The following persons have full authority of a peace officer to enforce the boating laws of New Mexico:
- Officials from the New Mexico State Parks Division—Park Rangers and other employees designated in writing by the Director
- Every sheriff in his or her respective county
- Every member of the New Mexico State Police
- USCG officers also patrol and have enforcement authority on federally controlled waters.
- The law enforcement officers listed above are authorized to stop and board your vessel to check that you are complying with state and federal laws.
- Outfitters and guides are subject to boat safety inspections at all times while boating.
- It is illegal to refuse to follow the directive of a person with law enforcement authority. An operator who has received a visual or audible signal from a law enforcement officer must bring his or her vessel to a stop.
- Every person who violates or fails to comply with laws in the New Mexico Boat Act is guilty of a petty misdemeanor. Violators must choose to either appear in court or pay the fine assessed by the arresting law enforcement officer.