Rep. Rogers Co-Sponsors "Boater Freedom Act"
New law protects constitutional rights of Ohioans on the waterways
July 11, 2013
 
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COLUMBUS- State Rep. John Rogers (D- Mentor-on-the-Lake) today announced that Sub. House Bill 29 was officially signed into law.  The legislation requires that State Watercraft Officers and Law Enforcement have just cause to stop a vessel for purposes of a safety inspection.  The law stipulates the acceptable criteria for stopping a vessel for purposes of a safety inspection include: The owner voluntarily requests such an inspection, there is reasonable suspicion the vessel is in violation of the law, or the vessel is being inspected in the course of an authorized checkpoint.  Prior to the law, boaters were being stopped at random and subjected to unlawful searches.  


 “Ensuring boaters are safe when they enjoy Ohio’s vast rivers, lakes, and waterways is extremely important,” said Rep. Rogers.  “It is equally important we respect Ohioans’ constitutional rights no matter where they are.  This provision simply brings watercraft law inline with how the law applies when you’re out driving your car.  When you’re driving, a law enforcement officer must have just cause to pull you over and this law makes sure that is also the case when you are out on the water.  It is a common sense piece of legislation and I am glad it’s an issue that Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly agreed upon.” 


 The primary sponsor of the legislation was Rep. Rex Damschroder (R- HD-88), along with several Democratic and Republican co-sponsors.  The bill passed the House and Senate with large bi-partisan support and was officially signed into law yesterday by Governor Kasich.  

 
 
 
  
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