Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 863

Public Act No. 03-244

AN ACT CONCERNING BOATING SAFETY.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 15-133 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) The rules prescribed by this section shall apply on all state and federal waters.

(b) No person shall use a vessel in a manner [which] that unreasonably or unnecessarily interferes with free and proper navigation. Anchoring under a bridge, in a narrow channel or in a congested water not designated as an anchorage area [shall be deemed to be] is such interference, except in case of emergency.

(c) No person shall alter, deface or remove any capacity information label affixed to any vessel.

(d) No person shall operate a vessel: [or engage in water skiing while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both. For the purposes of this subsection and sections 15-140l or 15-140n, a person shall be considered to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor if the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person at the time of the alleged offense, as determined by methods prescribed in subsection (a) of section 15-140r, is ten-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight. No person arrested for a violation of this subsection shall operate a vessel or engage in water-skiing upon the waters of this state for a twenty-four-hour period after such arrest] (1) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both, or (2) while such person has an elevated blood alcohol content. For the purposes of this section and sections 15-140l and 15-140n, as amended by this act, "elevated blood alcohol content" means: (A) A ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is eight-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or (B) if such person is under twenty-one years of age, a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is two-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight. For purposes of this section and sections 15-140l, 15-140n, 15-140o and 15-140q, as amended by this act, "operate" means that the vessel is underway or aground and not moored, anchored or docked.

(e) In any prosecution for a violation of subdivision (1) of subsection (d) of this section, evidence concerning the amount of alcohol in the defendant's blood or urine at the time of the alleged offense, as shown by a chemical analysis of the defendant's blood, breath or urine, otherwise admissible under subsection (a) of section 15-140r, shall be admissible only at the request of the defendant.

[(e)] (f) No person shall operate a vessel or engage in any activity contrary to the regulations [of] adopted by the commissioner.

[(f)] (g) No person shall moor a vessel to, obstruct, remove, damage or destroy any navigation aid or any device used to mark a restricted area.

[(g)] (h) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (d) of this section shall: [be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars. Any person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (b), (c) or (f) of this section shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars. Any person who violates any of the provisions of the provisions of subsection (e) of this section shall have committed an infraction. ] (1) For conviction of a first violation, (A) be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, and (B) be (i) imprisoned not more than six months, forty-eight consecutive hours of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, or (ii) imprisoned not more than six months, with the execution of such sentence of imprisonment suspended entirely and a period of probation imposed requiring as a condition of such probation that such person perform one hundred hours of community service, as defined in section 14-227e, and (C) have such person's safe boating certificate or certificate of personal watercraft operation, if any, or right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation suspended for one year; (2) for conviction of a second violation not later than ten years after a prior conviction for the same offense, (A) be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than four thousand dollars, (B) be imprisoned not more than two years, one hundred twenty consecutive days of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, and sentenced to a period of probation requiring as a condition of such probation that such person perform one hundred hours of community service, as defined in section 14-227e, and (C) have such person's safe boating certificate or certificate of personal watercraft operation, if any, or right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation suspended for three years or until the date of such person's twenty-first birthday, whichever is longer; and (3) for conviction of a third and subsequent violation not later than ten years after a prior conviction for the same offense, (A) be fined not less than two thousand dollars nor more than eight thousand dollars, (B) be imprisoned not more than three years, one year of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, and sentenced to a period of probation requiring as a condition of such probation that such person perform one hundred hours of community service, as defined in section 14-227e, and (C) have such person's safe boating certificate or certificate of personal watercraft operation, if any, or right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation permanently revoked upon such third offense.

(i) The suspension of a safe boating certificate or certificate of personal watercraft operation or right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation imposed under subsection (h) of this section shall take effect immediately upon expiration of any period in which an appeal of any conviction under subsection (d) of this section may be taken, provided if an appeal is taken, the suspension shall be stayed during the pendency of such appeal. If the suspension or revocation takes effect, the defendant shall return, not later than the second business day after the suspension or revocation takes effect, by personal delivery or first class mail, the safe boating certificate or certificate of personal watercraft operation issued to the defendant.

(j) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars. Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (c) or (g) of this section shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars and not more than five hundred dollars. Any person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (f) of this section shall have committed an infraction.

(k) (1) A record shall be kept by the Superior Court of any conviction relating to the operation of a vessel. A summary of such record, with a statement of the number of the operator's safe boating certificate or certificate of personal watercraft operation shall, not later than five days after such conviction, forfeiture or any other disposition or nolle, be transmitted to the commissioner by such court. Each court shall report each conviction under subsection (d) of this section to the commissioner. The commissioner shall suspend the safe boating certificate or certificate of personal watercraft operation of the person reported as convicted for the period of time required by subsection (h) of this section.

(2) The safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation of a person found guilty under subsection (d) of this section who is under eighteen years of age shall be suspended by the commissioner for the period of time set forth in subsection (h) of this section, or until such person attains the age of eighteen years, whichever period is longer.

Sec. 2. Section 15-140l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) A person commits the offense of reckless operation of a vessel in the first degree while under the influence when, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both, [he] or while such person has an elevated blood alcohol level content, such person operates a vessel at such speed or maneuvers a vessel in such a manner as to result in (1) death or serious physical injury to another person, or (2) damage to property in excess of [one] two thousand dollars.

(b) Any person guilty of reckless operation of a vessel in the first degree while under the influence shall be fined not less than two thousand five hundred dollars nor more than [one] five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than [one year] two years, or both.

Sec. 3. Section 15-140n of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) A person commits the offense of reckless operation of a vessel in the second degree while under the influence when, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both, [he] or while such person has an elevated blood alcohol level content, such person operates a vessel at such speed or maneuvers a vessel in such a manner as to endanger the life, limb or property of another person.

(b) Any person guilty of reckless operation of a vessel in the second degree while under the influence shall be fined not less than [two hundred fifty] five hundred dollars nor more than [five hundred] one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

Sec. 4. Section 15-140o of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Any peace officer authorized to enforce the provisions of sections 15-129, 15-133, as amended by this act, 15-133b, 15-133c, 15-140e, as amended by this act, to 15-140u, inclusive, 15-154 and 15-156 who arrests an operator for a violation of subsection (d) of section 15-133, as amended by this act, or section 15-140k, 15-140l, as amended by this act, 15-140m or 15-140n, as amended by this act, may take the vessel operated in such violation into [his] such peace officer's custody and shall cause the same to be taken to and stored in a suitable place. There shall be no liability attached to such peace officer for any damages to such vessel while in [his] such peace officer's custody. All charges necessarily incurred by such peace officer in the performance of such duty shall be a lien upon such vessel. The owner or keeper of any marina or other place where such vessel is stored shall have a lien upon the same for [his] the storage charges and if such vessel has been stored for a period of not less than sixty days, such owner or keeper may sell the same for storage charges owed thereon, provided a notice of intent to sell shall be sent to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, and the owner of such vessel, if known, five days before the sale of such vessel. If the owner is unknown, such sale shall be advertised by such marina owner or keeper in a newspaper published or having a circulation in the town where such marina or other place is located three times, commencing at least five days before the sale. The proceeds of such sale, after deducting the amount due such marina owner or keeper and all expenses of the peace officer who placed such vessel in storage, shall be paid to the owner of such vessel or [his] such owner's legal representatives, if claimed by [him] such owner or [them] owners at any time within one year from the date of such sale. If such balance is not claimed within said period, it shall escheat to the state.

(b) Any vessel [being] that is operated by a person who is arrested for a violation of section 15-140n, [shall] as amended by this act, in connection with such operation, or for a violation of section 15-140l, as amended by this act, after being involved in a boating accident, may be impounded for [twenty-four] a minimum of forty-eight hours after the arrest. Any vessel involved in a boating accident that results in death, serious physical injury, a missing person or property damage in excess of two thousand dollars may be seized for the collection of evidence and held until the investigation of the boating accident or any related court proceedings are concluded. Any trailer utilized by the operator to transport such vessel may also be impounded to facilitate transport and handling of such vessel.

Sec. 5. Section 15-140q of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Any person who operates a vessel in this state shall be deemed to have consented to a chemical analysis of such person's blood, breath or urine, and if such person is a minor, such person's parent or parents or guardian shall also be deemed to have given their consent for such an analysis of the minor's blood, breath or urine.

[(a)] (b) If any such person, having been placed under arrest for: (1) [violating] Violating subsection (b) of section 53-206d; [, or for] (2) operating a vessel upon the waters of this state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both; (3) operating a vessel upon the waters of this state while such person has an elevated blood alcohol content, and thereafter, after being apprised of [his] such person's constitutional rights, having been requested to submit to a blood, breath or urine test at the option of the police officer, having been afforded a reasonable opportunity to telephone an attorney prior to the performance of such test and having been informed that such person's safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation issued by the commissioner as a condition of operating a vessel shall be suspended in accordance with the provisions of this section if such person refuses to submit to such test or if such person submits to such test and the results of such test indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content and that evidence of any such refusal shall be admissible in accordance with subsection (d) of section 15-140r, as amended by this act, and may be used against [him] such person in any criminal prosecution, refuses to submit to the designated test, the test shall not be given; provided, if [the] such person refuses or is unable to submit to a blood test, the [police] peace officer shall designate the breath or urine test as the test to be taken. The peace officer shall make a notation upon the records of the police department that such officer informed such person that such person's safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation would be suspended if such person refused to submit to such test or if such person submitted to such test and the results of such test indicated that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content.

[(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person whose physical condition is such that, according to competent medical advice, such test would be inadvisable.

(c) The state shall pay the reasonable charges of any physician who, at the request of a municipal police department, takes a blood sample for purposes of a test under this section. ]

(c) If the person arrested refuses to submit to such test or analysis, or submits to such test or analysis commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicate that at the time of the alleged offense such person had an elevated blood alcohol content, the peace officer shall immediately revoke the safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation, if any, of such person for a twenty-four-hour period. The peace officer shall prepare a written report of the incident and shall mail the report together with any certificate taken into possession and a copy of the results of any chemical test or analysis, to the commissioner within three business days. The report shall be made on a form approved by the commissioner and shall be subscribed and sworn to under penalty of false statement as provided in section 53a-157b by the peace officer before whom such refusal was made or who administered or caused to be administered such test or analysis. If the person arrested refused to submit to such test or analysis, the report shall be endorsed by a third person who witnessed such refusal. The report shall set forth the grounds for the officer's belief that there was probable cause to arrest such person for operating such vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both, or while such person has an elevated blood alcohol content and shall state that such person refused to submit to such test or analysis when requested by such peace officer or that such person submitted to such test or analysis, commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person at the time of the alleged offense had an elevated blood alcohol content.

(d) If the person arrested submits to a blood or urine test at the request of the peace officer, and the specimen requires laboratory analysis in order to obtain the test results, and if the test results indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content, the peace officer, immediately upon receipt of the test results, shall notify and submit to the commissioner the written report required pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(e) Upon receipt of such report, the commissioner shall suspend the safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation of such person effective as of a date certain, such date shall be no later than thirty-five days after the date such person received notice of such person's arrest by the peace officer. Any person whose safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation is suspended in accordance with this subsection shall be entitled to a hearing before the commissioner to be held prior to the effective date of the suspension. The commissioner shall send a suspension notice to such person informing such person that such person's safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation is suspended and shall specify the date of such suspension and that such person is entitled to a hearing prior to the effective date of the suspension and may schedule such hearing by contacting the commissioner not later than seven days after the date of mailing of such suspension notice.

(f) If such person does not contact the department to schedule a hearing, the commissioner shall affirm the suspension contained in the suspension notice for the appropriate period specified in subsection (i) of this section.

(g) If such person contacts the department to schedule a hearing, the commissioner shall assign a date, time and place for the hearing, which date shall be prior to the effective date of the suspension. At the request of such person and upon a showing of good cause, the commissioner may grant one continuance for a period not to exceed thirty days. The hearing shall be limited to a determination of the following issues: (1) Whether the peace officer had probable cause to arrest the person for operating the vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, or both, or while such person has an elevated blood alcohol content; (2) whether such person was placed under arrest; (3) whether such person (A) refused to submit to such test or analysis, or (B) submitted to such test or analysis, commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicated that at the time of the alleged offense that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content; and (4) whether such person was operating the vessel. At the hearing, the results of the test or analysis shall be sufficient to indicate the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person at the time of operation, except that if the results of an additional test, administered pursuant to section 15-140r, as amended by this act, indicate that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person is eight-hundredths of one per cent or less of alcohol, by weight, and is higher than the results of the first test, evidence shall be presented that demonstrates that the test results and analysis thereof accurately indicate the blood alcohol content at the time of operation. The fees of any witness summoned to appear at the hearing shall be the same as provided in section 52-260.

(h) If, after such hearing, the commissioner finds on any one of said issues in the negative, the commissioner shall stay the safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation suspension. If, after such hearing, the commissioner does not find on any one of said issues in the negative or if such person fails to appear at such hearing, the commissioner shall affirm the suspension contained in the suspension notice for the appropriate period specified in subsection (i) of this section. The commissioner shall render a decision at the conclusion of such hearing or send a notice of the decision by certified mail to such person not later than thirty-five days from the date of notice of such person's arrest by the peace officer or, if a continuance is granted, not later than sixty-five days from the date such person received notice of such person's arrest by the peace officer. The notice of such decision sent by certified mail to the address of such person as shown by the records of the commissioner shall be sufficient notice to such person that such person's safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation is suspended or the suspension is stayed. Unless a continuance of the hearing is granted pursuant to subsection (g) of this section, if the commissioner fails to render a decision within thirty-five days from the date that such person received notice of such person's arrest by the peace officer, the commissioner shall not suspend such person's safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation.

(i) The commissioner shall suspend the operator's safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation of a person who does not contact the department to schedule a hearing under subsection (e) of this section, who fails to appear at such hearing, or against whom, after a hearing, the commissioner holds pursuant to subsection (g) of this section. Such suspension shall be as of the effective date contained in the suspension notice or the date the commissioner renders a decision, whichever is later, for a period of: (1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, ninety days if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that at the time of the alleged offense that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content, or (B) one hundred twenty days if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person was sixteen-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or (C) six months if such person refused to submit to such test or analysis; (2) if such person has previously had such person's safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation suspended under this section, (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, nine months if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that at the time of the alleged offense that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content, (B) ten months if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person was sixteen-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, and (C) one year if such person refused to submit to such test or analysis; and (3) if such person has two or more times previously had such person's safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation suspended under this section, (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, two years if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that at the time of the alleged offense that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content, (B) two and one-half years if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person was sixteen-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, and (C) three years if such person refused to submit to such test or analysis.

(j) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) to (i), inclusive, of this section, any peace officer who obtains the results of a chemical analysis of a blood sample taken from an operator of a vessel involved in an accident who suffered or allegedly suffered physical injury in such accident shall notify the commissioner and submit to the commissioner a written report if such results indicate that at the time of the alleged offense such person had an elevated blood alcohol content, and if such person was arrested for a violation of subsection (d) of section 15-133, as amended by this act, or section 15-140l, as amended by this act, or 15-140n, as amended by this act, in connection with such accident. The report shall be made on a form approved by the commissioner containing such information as the commissioner prescribes and shall be subscribed and sworn under penalty of false statement, as provided in section 53a-157b, by the peace officer. The commissioner shall, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, which shall be conducted in accordance with chapter 54, suspend the safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel that requires a safe boating certificate for operation or certificate of personal watercraft operation of such person for a period of up to ninety days, or, if such person has previously had such person's operating privilege suspended under this section, for a period up to one year. Each hearing conducted under this section shall be limited to a determination of the following issues: (1) Whether the peace officer had probable cause to arrest the person for operating a vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, or both, or while such person has an elevated blood alcohol content; (2) whether such person was placed under arrest; (3) whether such person was operating the vessel; (4) whether the results of the analysis of the blood of such person indicate that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content; and (5) whether the blood sample was obtained in accordance with conditions for admissibility as set forth in subsection (b) of section 15-140r, as amended by this act. If, after such hearing, the commissioner finds on any issue in the negative, the commissioner shall not impose a suspension. The fees of any witness summoned to appear at the hearing shall be the same as provided by the general statutes for witnesses in criminal cases.

(k) The provisions of this section shall apply with the same effect to the refusal by any person to submit to an additional chemical test as provided in subdivision (5) of subsection (a) of section 15-140r, as amended by this act.

(l) The provisions of this section do not apply to any person whose physical condition is such that, according to competent medical advice, such test would be inadvisable.

(m) The state shall pay the reasonable charges of any physician who, at the request of a municipal police department, takes a blood sample for purposes of a test under the provisions of this section.

(n) For the purposes of this section, "elevated blood alcohol content" means: (1) A ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is eight-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or (2) if such person is under twenty-one years of age, a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is two-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight.

(o) The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this section.

Sec. 6. Section 15-140r of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

[(a) In any criminal prosecution for violation of section 15-140l or 15-140n, subsection (a) of section 15-133 or]

(a) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, in any criminal prosecution for the violation of subsection (d) of section 15-133, as amended by this act, sections 15-140l and 15-140n, as amended by this act, and subsection (b) of section 53-206d, evidence respecting the amount of alcohol or drug in the defendant's blood or urine at the time of the alleged offense, as shown by a chemical analysis of the defendant's breath, blood or urine shall be admissible and competent provided: (1) The defendant was afforded a reasonable opportunity to telephone an attorney prior to the performance of the test and consented to the taking of the test upon which such analysis is made; (2) a true copy of the report of the test result was mailed to or personally delivered to the defendant within twenty-four hours or by the end of the next regular business day, after such result was known, whichever is later; (3) the test was performed by or at the direction of a certified law enforcement officer according to methods and with equipment approved by the Department of Public [Health] Safety. [and was performed by a person certified or recertified for such purpose by said department or recertified by persons certified as instructors by the Commissioner of Public Health. ] If a blood test is taken, it shall be on a blood sample taken by a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this state, a qualified laboratory technician, an emergency medical technician II or a registered nurse [; (4)] in accordance with the regulations adopted under subsection (b) of this section; (4) the device used for such test was checked for accuracy [at the beginning of each workday and no later than the end of each workday by a person certified by the Department of Public Health; (5)] in accordance with the regulations adopted under subsection (b) of this section; (5) an additional chemical test of the same type was performed [and the device was checked for accuracy by a person certified or recertified by the Department of Public Health,] at least thirty minutes after the initial test was performed or, if requested by the peace officer for reasonable cause, an additional chemical test of a different type was performed to detect the presence of a drug or drugs other than or in addition to alcohol, provided the results of the initial test shall not be inadmissible under this subsection if reasonable efforts were made to have such additional test performed in accordance with the conditions set forth in this subsection and such additional test was not performed or was not performed within a reasonable time, or the results of such additional test are not admissible for failure to meet a condition set forth in this subsection; and (6) evidence is presented [which demonstrates that the test results and the analysis thereof accurately reflect] that the test was commenced within two hours of operation of the vessel. In any prosecution under this section it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the results of such chemical analysis establish the ratio of alcohol in the blood of the defendant at the time of the alleged offense, except that if the results of the additional test indicate that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such defendant is ten-hundredths of one per cent or less of alcohol, by weight, and is higher than the results of the first test, evidence shall be presented that demonstrates that the test results and the analysis thereof accurately indicate the blood alcohol content at the time of the alleged offense.

(b) The Commissioner of Public [Health] Safety shall ascertain the reliability of each method and type of device offered for chemical testing [purposes] and analysis of blood, of breath and of urine and certify those methods and types which [he] said commissioner finds suitable for use in testing and analysis of blood, [testing] breath and [testing] urine, respectively, in this state. [He] The Commissioner of Public Safety, after consultation with the Commissioner of Public Health, shall adopt regulations governing the conduct of chemical tests, the operation and use of chemical test devices and the training [, certification and annual recertification of operators of such devices as he] and certification of operators of such devices and the drawing or obtaining of blood, breath or urine samples as said commissioner finds necessary to protect the health and safety of persons who submit to chemical tests and to insure reasonable accuracy in testing results. Such regulations shall not require recertification of a peace officer solely because such officer terminates such officer's employment with the law enforcement agency for which certification was originally issued and commences employment with another such agency.

(c) If a person is charged with a violation of subsection (d) of section 15-133, as amended by this act, the charge may not be reduced, nolled or dismissed unless the prosecuting authority states in open court [his] such prosecutor's reasons for the reduction, nolle or dismissal.

(d) In any criminal prosecution for a violation of subsection (d) of section 15-133 or section 15-140l or 15-140n, as amended by this act, evidence that the defendant refused to submit to a blood, breath or urine test requested in accordance with section 15-140q, as amended by this act, shall be admissible provided the requirements of subsection (a) of said section have been satisfied. If a case involving a violation of subsection (d) of section 15-133 or section 15-140l or 15-140n, as amended by this act, is tried to a jury, the court shall instruct the jury as to any inference that may or may not be drawn from the defendant's refusal to submit to a blood, breath or urine test.

Sec. 7. Section 15-154 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Any harbor master, deputy harbor master, conservation officer, special conservation officer or state police officer and any municipal police officer, any special police officer appointed under sections 29-18 and 29-19, [or members of the volunteer police auxiliary force established under section 29-22,] any town marine officers appointed under section 15-154a and certified by the commissioner for marine police duty and any lake patrolman appointed under section 7-151b, as amended, may enforce the provisions of this chapter and chapter 446k, except that only peace officers shall enforce the provisions of subsection (d) of section 15-33, as amended by this act, and sections 15-140l and 15-140n, as amended by this act. In the enforcement of this chapter, such officer may arrest, without previous complaint and warrant, any person who fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter. Failure to appear in court pursuant to such arrest, unless excused by the court or the state's attorney or assistant state's attorney, shall constitute sufficient cause for the suspension by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of the boat registration of the boat involved for not more than thirty days or until the matter is resolved by the court, whichever is sooner.

(b) When engaged in the enforcement of this chapter and chapter 446k such officer shall have the authority to stop and board any vessel which is under way or which is moored on the waters of this state for the purposes of (1) examining decals, certificates and other documents, (2) inspecting safety equipment and waste disposal systems, (3) determining if the operation of such vessel exceeds the noise levels established in subsection (b) of section 15-129, (4) searching when [he] such officer has probable cause to believe that any provision of any law of this state or any rule or regulation of the Department of Environmental Protection relating to boating or water pollution has been violated, (5) determining compliance with [subsection (d)] sections 15-140l and 15-140n and subsections (d) and (e) of section 15-133, as amended by this act, when [he] such authorized officer has probable cause to believe said section or subsection has been violated, and (6) making arrests. No person operating a vessel shall refuse to stop [his] such vessel or, if sea conditions make stopping in that area unsafe, refuse to take [his] such vessel to a designated area after being requested or signalled to do so by [an authorized law enforcement] such officer. Any person operating a vessel who refuses to stop or refuses to take [his] such vessel to the designated area shall have committed an infraction. Any person, when signalled to stop by [an] such officer in a law enforcement vessel using an audible signal device or flashing blue lights, who operates [his] such vessel in disregard of such signal so as to (A) interfere with or endanger the operation of the law enforcement vessel or any other vessel, (B) endanger or cause damage to property or person, or (C) increase speed in an attempt to escape or elude such law enforcement officer shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for a first offense and for any subsequent offense shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars. Proof of the registration number of the vessel shall be prima facie evidence in any prosecution that the owner was the operator.

(c) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall publish an enforcement manual, conduct training and educational sessions, serve as liaison between the enforcement groups and the Superior Court and shall be generally responsible for the overall coordination of enforcement.

Sec. 8. Subsection (a) of section 15-140e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) On and after the following dates, no resident of the state, person owning real property in the state or person owning a vessel in the state shall operate on the waters of the state a vessel which is required to be registered or numbered pursuant to this chapter unless such person has a valid vessel operator license by the United States Coast Guard or has obtained a safe boating certificate issued by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection: For operators who are less than twenty years of age, June 23, 1993; for operators who are less than twenty-five years of age, October 1, 1993; for operators who are less than thirty years of age, October 1, 1994; for operators who are less than thirty-five years of age, October 1, 1995; for operators who are less than forty years of age, October 1, 1996; and for all operators forty years of age or older, October 1, 1997. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the commissioner may issue a certificate to a person who has successfully completed a course in safe boating operation approved by the commissioner before the date such person is required to take the exam under this section. A safe boating certificate [shall be nonrevocable] may be suspended or revoked, pursuant to section 15-133, 15-140l or 15-140n, as amended by this act, and shall be valid for the life of the person to whom it is issued unless otherwise suspended or revoked.

Sec. 9. Section 15-133c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) On or before January 1, 1991, any person convicted of more than one violation of section 15-133 or 15-134 within any two-year period may not operate a motorboat powered by a motor in excess of five horsepower on the waters of the state for recreational purposes without first obtaining a boating safety certificate from the commissioner evidencing successful completion of a course in safe boat handling approved by the commissioner. The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 establishing requirements for the issuance of boating safety certificates and the content of safe boat handling courses which shall include but not be limited to instruction in boat handling and navigation. The commissioner may designate [as his] an agent for giving such course and issuing such certificates: The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, the United States Power Squadron, or any other person or organization [he] the commissioner deems qualified to act in such capacity.

(b) A certified copy of a conviction for a violation of section 15-133, as amended by this act, [or] 15-134, 15-140l, as amended by this act, or 15-140n, as amended by this act, shall be sent within thirty days of conviction to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection without charge by the clerk of the court wherein such conviction has been had.

Sec. 10. Subsection (a) of section 14-227f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Any person whose motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended under subsection (h) of section 14-227a for a conviction of a second or subsequent violation of subsection (a) of said section or under section 14-227b for a second or subsequent time shall participate in a treatment program approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The commissioner shall not reinstate the operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of any such person until such person submits evidence to the commissioner that [he] such person has satisfactorily completed the treatment program. Any person whose certificate is suspended or revoked pursuant to sections 15-133, 15-140l or 15-140n, as amended by this act, shall participate in such treatment program.

Sec. 11. Subsection (a) of section 54-56g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) There shall be a pretrial alcohol education system for persons charged with a violation of section 14-227a and the provisions of sections 15-133, 15-140l and 15-140n, as amended by this act. Upon application by any such person for participation in such system and payment to the court of an application fee of fifty dollars, the court shall, but only as to the public, order the court file sealed, provided such person states under oath, in open court or before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths, under penalties of perjury that such person has never had such system invoked in such person's behalf and that such person has not been convicted of a violation of section 53a-56b or 53a-60d, a violation of subsection (a) of section 14-227a before or after October 1, 1981, or a violation of subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of section 14-227a on or after October 1, 1985, and that such person has not been convicted in any other state at any time of an offense the essential elements of which are substantially the same as section 53a-56b or 53a-60d or subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of section 14-227a. Unless good cause is shown, a person shall be ineligible for participation in such pretrial alcohol education system if such person's alleged violation of section 14-227a caused the serious physical injury, as defined in section 53a-3, of another person. The fee imposed by this subsection shall be credited to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund established by section 54-215.

Sec. 12. Section 15-140j of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (h) as follows (Effective October 1, 2003):

(NEW) (h) A certificate of personal watercraft operation may be suspended or revoked in accordance with the provisions of section 15-133, 15-140l or 15-140n, as amended by this act.

Sec. 13. Subsection (b) of section 54-56g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(b) The court, after consideration of the recommendation of the state's attorney, assistant state's attorney or deputy assistant state's attorney in charge of the case, may, in its discretion, grant such application. If the court grants such application, it shall refer such person to the Court Support Services Division for assessment and confirmation of the eligibility of the applicant and to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for evaluation. The Court Support Services Division, in making its assessment and confirmation, may rely on the representations made by the applicant under oath in open court with respect to convictions in other states of offenses specified in subsection (a) of this section. Upon confirmation of eligibility and receipt of the evaluation report, the defendant shall be referred to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services by the Court Support Services Division for placement in an appropriate alcohol intervention program for one year. Any person who enters the system shall agree: (1) To the tolling of the statute of limitations with respect to such crime, (2) to a waiver of such person's right to a speedy trial, (3) to complete ten or fifteen counseling sessions in an alcohol intervention program pursuant to this section dependent upon the evaluation report and the court order, (4) to accept placement in a treatment program upon recommendation of a provider under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services pursuant to subsection (d) of this section or placement in a treatment program which has standards substantially similar to, or higher than, a program of a provider under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services if the Court Support Services Division deems it appropriate, and (5) if ordered by the court, to participate in at least one victim impact panel. The suspension of the motor vehicle operator's license of any such person pursuant to section 14-227b shall be effective during the period such person is participating in such program, provided such person shall have the option of not commencing the participation in such program until the period of such suspension is completed. If the Court Support Services Division informs the court that the defendant is ineligible for the system and the court makes a determination of ineligibility or if the program provider certifies to the court that the defendant did not successfully complete the assigned program or is no longer amenable to treatment, the court shall order the court file to be unsealed, enter a plea of not guilty for such defendant and immediately place the case on the trial list. If such defendant satisfactorily completes the assigned program, such defendant may apply for dismissal of the charges against such defendant and the court, on reviewing the record of the defendant's participation in such program submitted by the Court Support Services Division and on finding such satisfactory completion, shall dismiss the charges. If the defendant does not apply for dismissal of the charges against such defendant after satisfactorily completing the assigned program the court, upon receipt of the record of the defendant's participation in such program submitted by the Court Support Services Division, may on its own motion make a finding of such satisfactory completion and dismiss the charges. Upon motion of the defendant and a showing of good cause, the court may extend the one-year placement period for a reasonable period for the defendant to complete the assigned program. A record of participation in such program shall be retained by the Court Support Services Division for a period of seven years from the date of application. The Court Support Services Division shall transmit to the Department of Motor Vehicles a record of participation in such program for each person who satisfactorily completes such program. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall maintain for a period of seven years the record of a person's participation in such program as part of such person's driving record. The Court Support Services Division shall transmit to the Department of Environmental Protection the record of participation of any person who satisfactorily completes such program who has been charged with a violation of the provisions of section 15-133, 15-140l or 15-140n, as amended by this act. The Department of Environmental Protection shall maintain for a period of seven years the record of a person's participation in such program as a part of such person's boater certification record.

Sec. 14. Subsection (h) of section 15-144 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(h) (1) Any person who operates or any owner who permits the operation of a vessel on the waters of this state which has not been numbered or registered in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and any other applicable section of the general statutes, shall have committed a violation and shall be fined not less than twenty-five nor more than two hundred dollars for the first offense and for each subsequent offense shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars. (2) No person shall use any vessel registration or registration decals that have been issued to another person pursuant to sections 15-142 to 15-144, inclusive. No person shall use a vessel registration or registration decals on any vessel other than the vessel for which such registration number or registration decals have been issued. Any person who violates any provision of this subdivision shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both. (3) Any officer empowered to enforce the provisions of this chapter and any other applicable section of the general statutes who finds a vessel which is not numbered or registered in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and such discovery is subsequent to a violation of this chapter may make application to the court for a warrant to seize such vessel and take it into custody pending proof of payment of proper numbering or registration fees. No officer shall be liable for any act performed under the provisions of this subsection.

Sec. 15. Subsection (f) of section 15-134 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(f) (1) No individual, municipality, association or corporation shall place or cause to be placed on the waters of this state any marked course or jump ramp for use by any water skier or vessel without written authorization of the commissioner except on lakes or ponds owned by, and whose access is entirely under the control of, private landowners or lessees who all agree to the establishment of such course or ramp. On and after October 1, 1993, no new authorization shall be granted on any body of water with a surface area less than one hundred acres. Application for authorization shall be made on forms provided by the commissioner and shall be accompanied by: (A) A detailed map showing the proposed location of such marked course or jump ramp, (B) a detailed diagram of the proposed course markers or jump ramp, and (C) a detailed statement addressing the safety and environmental impact of such proposal.

(2) The commissioner shall hold [a public hearing] an informational meeting in the town or one of the towns in which authorization is sought, [to place such marked course or jump ramp,] giving all towns involved and all interested persons an opportunity to present their views regarding the proposed mark course or jump ramp. Any such informational meeting shall not be deemed to be a hearing under the provisions of chapter 54. Prior to issuing or denying such authorization the commissioner shall consider: (A) The completeness, accuracy and detail of the application, (B) public safety, (C) any environmental impacts directly related to the proposed marked course or jump ramp, and (D) the possible conflicts with other water uses.

(3) Any authorization issued by the commissioner pursuant to this subsection may contain such conditions as the commissioner deems necessary to safeguard public safety, welfare or the environment.

Sec. 16. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, concerning the reinstatement of a person's safe boating certificate, right to operate a vessel or certificate of personal watercraft operation.

Approved July 9, 2003