LEGAL CORNER: When did LDWF begin requiring a boating education course?

Legal Corner answers viewers’ civil legal questions.
Published: Jun. 21, 2023 at 1:22 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Legal Corner answers viewers’ civil legal questions.

QUESTION: I was absolutely surprised when an agent from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries stopped me and my friends while we were boating and asked to see my certification of completion of some boater education course! I did not know there was such a course requirement to go out on a personal watercraft and enjoy a fun day. When did all this become required?

ANSWER: Wildlife and Fisheries encourages every boater to take a boater education course. However, if you were born after January 1, 1984, you must successfully complete an LDWF-approved boater education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower, unless you are accompanied by someone over age 18 who has successfully completed an LDWF-approved boater education course, if required.

In addition, if you were born after January 1, 1984, you must successfully complete an approved boater education course to operate a personal watercraft. You must also be age 16 or older to operate a personal watercraft.

Individuals must carry their certification of course completion while on the motorboat or personal watercraft. You can read more about this on their website by clicking HERE.

QUESTION: What are the laws for Uber and Lyft drivers who are driving under the influence? I scheduled a ride with Uber and the driver appeared to be high on some kind of drug. He went to the wrong location and became very combative with me when I asked him to just stop the car and let me out. Can they be arrested for DUI like other drivers?

ANSWER: The company is required to implement a zero-tolerance policy regarding a driver’s activities while accessing the company’s digital network. The zero-tolerance policy shall address the use of drugs or alcohol while a driver is providing prearranged rides or is logged into the company’s digital network, regardless of whether the driver is providing prearranged rides. The company shall provide notice of this policy on its website as well as procedures to report a complaint about a driver with whom a rider was matched and whom the rider reasonably suspects was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the course of the prearranged ride.

Upon receipt of a rider’s complaint alleging a violation of the zero-tolerance policy, the company is required to suspend the alleged driver’s ability to accept trip requests through the company’s digital network immediately and shall conduct an investigation into the reported incident. The suspension shall last for the duration of the investigation. (R.S:48§2198. Zero tolerance policy)