Kentucky’s state laws, in conjunction with state regulations, govern the operation of boats in Kentucky. The State Boating Act (Chapter 235 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes) contains the state laws which set standards for boats, equipment on boats, who can drive boats, and governs conduct on boats. The state laws contained in the State Boating Act detail the following:

  • the laws that make up the State Boating Act are administered by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources as noted in Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 235.030. However, the Transportation Cabinet administers boat numbering, registration, and titling requirements;
  • to obtain title and registration for a boat one must apply to the county clerk’s office. KRS 235.050 indicates the necessary documents required for title and registration. According to KRS 235.070, boat owners must provide personal information and information regarding that individual’s boat to the county clerk’s office when seeking title, registration or renewal;
  • KRS 235.200 stipulates that a boat must have proper floatation devices which are in compliance with the United States Coast Guard’s requirements;
  • KRS 235.240 prohibits drivers over the age of 21 from driving boats when their blood alcohol content is .08 or higher and prohibits drivers under 21 to drive boats with a blood alcohol content is .02 or higher. All drivers must not be under the influence of any other drugs which give law enforcement personnel probable cause to stop his or her boat. Any driver of a boat is required to allow law enforcement to administer test(s) which indicates the driver’s blood alcohol content or presence of being under the influence of other drugs;
  • drivers who are involved in a boating accident causing damage to property, injuries to others must render assistance to those who are injured (provided that rendering assistance does not interfere with the operation of his or her boat). Drivers involved in damages or injuries to others must give their name, address, and identification of individual’s vessel in writing to any person injured and to the owner of any property damaged in the collision, accident, or other casualty. If property damage and/or injuries result in a loss of over $500, the driver must prepare a report detailing the accident to the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KRS 235.250);
  • KRS 235.285 sets guidelines for towing those who are water skiing or similar activities and requires boats to have rearview mirrors when skiing. Other policies under this statute include: all passengers and the driver must wear personal floatation devices, must not drive a boat between sunset and sunrise, bans drivers under the age of 12 years, and outlines conditions when it is legal for drivers between the ages of 12 to 17 to drive a boat;
  • KRS 235.300 states that owners of boats are liable for any damages they cause to individuals and/or property;
  • KRS 235.990 specifies the penalties, including imprisonment, to those who violate the provisions of the State Boating Act.

Louisville’s Worst Boating Accident in recent times

On July 4, 2015, a pontoon boat on the Ohio River, near downtown Louisville, collided with a barge, flipped over and then capsized. CNN initially reported that the collision resulted in the deaths of two people and three people were missing. All four survivors were taken to a nearby hospital. On July 9, 2015, WHAS reported that the three that were missing had also died in the July 4 boat accident. The five fatalities involved a father, his three children, and the father’s girlfriend. WHAS noted that this accident is one of the worst boating accidents in recent years for Louisville.

We Will Lead You Through Your Kentucky Boat Accident Case

The boating accident this 4th of July is a stark reminder of the danger that can be involved when one is on a boat traveling on one of Kentucky’s waterways. Boating injuries are one of the many types of personal injury cases where attorney D. Tyler Roberts and his law firm Roberts Law Office, PLLC (located at 209 E. High Street, Lexington, KY 40507) can help provide you with compensation due to injuries, property damage or a loved one’s death or injury. Roberts Law Office’s website explains the importance of being adequately represented if you suffer a personal injury (see Roberts Law Office, Personal Injury section). If you are in an accident, contact Roberts Law Firm by phone at (859) 231-0202 or submit your contact information and description of the accident at the law firm’s contact page.