Boating Accident Laws
Boating is a great recreational activity enjoyed by families, groups, and individuals alike. Boating opportunities exist in almost every state, whether enthusiasts take a boat out on the lake, the river, or the ocean. If you decide to go boating, it is important for you to be familiar with the laws of your particular state or of the state in which you are visiting. Each state has a different set of boating laws and it is important to follow them in order to avoid injury and to know what to do in case of an accident.
Iowa Boating Accident Laws
The state of Iowa has plenty of opportunities for water enthusiasts to boat, fish, swim, dive, or relax out on the water. However, Iowa has specific laws concerning boating and outlines particular guidelines that you are legally obligated to follow in the event of an accident. If you are involved in an accident, remember the following:
• Stop your boat immediately after the accident.
• Check for injuries aboard your boat and aboard any other boat involved. Be sure that no one in the water is in real or potential danger as a result of the accident.
• Provide immediate assistance to anyone who is in danger or who is injured. Unless the action could put yourself or your passengers at risk, you are legally required to help.
• If needed or at all possible, contact emergency medical assistance.
• Once everyone involved is safe, exchange information with the other party involved. Be sure to include your name, address, and boat identification number and collect this information from the other party as well.
• Report the accident by filing an accident report with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). If there were any injuries requiring medical attention, disappearance, or death, the report must be filed within 48 hours. If damage to the other person’s property equals more than $2,000, a report must be filed within five days of the incident.
Iowa Boating While Intoxicated
To keep yourself and your loved ones safe out on the water, it is also important to be familiar with Iowa’s Boating While Intoxicated laws. Intoxicated boaters are a threat to everyone out on the water. In Iowa, the BAC limit for boat operators is.10 percent, which is slightly higher than that allowed for operating a car. If a law enforcement officer catches a boater who is over the legal limit, the boater may face extensive fines or even time in jail.