Boating laws, do you know them?

Summer time is in full swing which means many of us will be spending it out on the lake, but when it come to operating a boat, do you know the laws?

In the state of Missouri, the requirement to operate a vehicle and a boat are different.

For boating, you donâ??t need to have an operating license unless you were born after January 01, 1984.

â??A way a person obtains that boater's certification card is they have to take a boater's safety course,â?? said Sgt. Brent Bernhardt with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. â??Someone can obtain one of those either by taking a course in person offered throughout the state or it can be done online. Once theyâ??ve successfully completed that course, they get a card and it they must carry it with them.â??

Every boat is also required to have enough life jackets for each person that is on board.

â??It depends on the size of the boat, but every boat is required to have enough life jackets for each person that is aboard the vessel. Those life jackets are supposed to be readily accessible, not stowed away in some compartment,â?? Sgt. Bernhardt said. â??There is a law in the state of Missouri for any child under the age of seven to wear a floatation device anytime they are aboard that vessel.â??

When it comes to speeding on waterways, you can get a ticket if you violate the speed limit in certain areas or during certain times of the day.

â??There are certain areas on the lake that require idol speed operations, but the only speed limit that is actually set in most waterways in the state of Missouri is a 30 mph night time speed limit,â?? said Sgt. Bernhardt.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol can also give out various citations.

â??Someone can get a citation for careless operating, whether itâ??s operating a boat too close to other boats, or by people that are swimming in an area,â?? said Sgt. Bernhardt. â??You can get a violation for not registering your boat or if someone under the age of seven is not wearing a life jacket.

As you know, itâ??s illegal to drink and drive on Missouri roadways and according to Sgt. Bernhardt, itâ??s also illegal to operate a boat while intoxicated.

â??Our troopers take it very serious when out patrolling the water, if they catch someone drinking while operating a boat, they can expect to get a ticket.â??

Twenty boating fatalities were reported in the state of Missouri last year, and 40 drownings were also reported.

â??We want to make sure people are safe,â?? said Sgt. Bernhardt. â??Our officers that are patrolling the waterways and inspecting boats do so to make sure everyone is safe, and are doing the right thing while enjoying themselves on our waterways.â??

CLICK HERE to learn more about Missouri boating laws and how to register for a boater certification card.