46 U.S. Code § 2302 - Penalties for negligent operations and interfering with safe operation

(a) A person operating a vessel in a negligent manner or interfering with the safe operation of a vessel, so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of a person is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 in the case of a recreational vessel, or $25,000 in the case of any other vessel.
(b) A person operating a vessel in a grossly negligent manner that endangers the life, limb, or property of a person commits a class A misdemeanor.
(c) An individual who is under the influence of alcohol, or a dangerous drug in violation of a law of the United States when operating a vessel, as determined under standards prescribed by the Secretary by regulation—
(1) is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000; or
(2) commits a class A misdemeanor.
(d) For a penalty imposed under this section, the vessel also is liable in rem unless the vessel is—
(1) owned by a State or a political subdivision of a State;
(2) operated principally for governmental purposes; and
(3) identified clearly as a vessel of that State or subdivision.
(e)
(1) A vessel may not transport Government-impelled cargoes if—
(A) the vessel has been detained and determined to be substandard by the Secretary for violation of an international safety convention to which the United States is a party, and the Secretary has published notice of that detention and determination in an electronic form, including the name of the owner of the vessel; or
(B) the operator of the vessel has on more than one occasion had a vessel detained and determined to be substandard by the Secretary for violation of an international safety convention to which the United States is a party, and the Secretary has published notice of that detention and determination in an electronic form, including the name of the owner of the vessel.
(2) The prohibition in paragraph (1) expires for a vessel on the earlier of—
(A) 1 year after the date of the publication in electronic form on which the prohibition is based; or
(B) any date on which the owner or operator of the vessel prevails in an appeal of the violation of the relevant international convention on which the detention is based.
(3) As used in this subsection, the term “Government-impelled cargo” means cargo for which a Federal agency contracts directly for shipping by water or for which (or the freight of which) a Federal agency provides financing, including financing by grant, loan, or loan guarantee, resulting in shipment of the cargo by water.

Source

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 508; Pub. L. 98–557, § 7(a),Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2862; Pub. L. 101–380, title IV, §§ 4105(b)(2), 4302 (a),Aug. 18, 1990, 104 Stat. 513, 537; Pub. L. 102–587, title V, § 5102,Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 5071; Pub. L. 105–383, title III, §§ 302(a), 304 (c), title IV, § 408(a),Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat. 3417, 3419, 3430; Pub. L. 107–295, title III, § 325,Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2105.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised section Source section (U.S. Code)
2302(a) 46:1461(d)
46:1484(b)
2302(b) 46:1461(d)
46:1483
2302(c) 46:1484(b)

Section 2302 states that the negligent operation of a vessel is prohibited. These acts are subject to civil and criminal penalties and the involved vessel is subject to an in rem action. The negligent operation provisions have their genesis in the Act of April 25, 1940, 54 Stat. 167, when Congress prescribed that no person shall operate any motorboat or any vessel in a reckless or negligent manner. This provision was directed at all vessels and not those solely engaged in recreational boating. When the Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, P.L. 92–75, 85 Stat. 217 (46 U.S.C. 1461) was enacted it adopted the reckless or negligent operation provisions of the 1940 Act. It adopted for the first time a provision for assessing civil penalties in addition to criminal penalties. It dropped the word “reckless” because of redundancy. It also combined the two classes of vessels; “any motorboat or any vessel” into one class by using the word “vessel” and defined vessel as including every description of watercraft.
Amendments

2002—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–295substituted “$5,000 in the case of a recreational vessel, or $25,000 in the case of any other vessel” for “$1,000”
1998—Pub. L. 105–383, § 302(a)(1), substituted “Penalties for negligent operations and interfering with safe operation” for “Penalties for negligent operations” in section catchline.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–383, § 302(a)(2), substituted “or interfering with the safe operation of a vessel, so as to endanger” for “that endangers”.
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 105–383, § 304(c), substituted “$5,000; or” for “$1,000 for a first violation and not more than $5,000 for a subsequent violation; or”.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 105–383, § 408(a), added subsec. (e).
1992—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 102–587substituted “$1,000 for a first violation and not more than $5,000 for a subsequent violation” for “$1,000”.
1990—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–380, § 4302(a)(1), substituted “commits a class A misdemeanor” for “shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than one year, or both”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–380, §§ 4105(b)(2), 4302 (a)(2)(A), substituted “under the influence of alcohol, or a dangerous drug in violation of a law of the United States” for “intoxicated” and struck out “, shall be” after “by the Secretary by regulation”.
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 101–380, § 4302(a)(2)(B), substituted “is liable” for “liable”.
Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 101–380, § 4302(a)(2)(C), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.”
1984—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 98–557added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).
Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Pub. L. 105–383, title IV, § 408(b),Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat. 3431, provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] takes effect January 1, 1999.”
Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–380applicable to incidents occurring after Aug. 18, 1990, see section 1020 ofPub. L. 101–380, set out as an Effective Date note under section 2701 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters.

This is a list of parts within the Code of Federal Regulations for which this US Code section provides rulemaking authority.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


33 CFR - Navigation and Navigable Waters

33 CFR Part 95 - OPERATING A VESSEL WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR A DANGEROUS DRUG

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.