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The Reno, Nevada area is a great place for boating and enjoying other water sports. But you want to make sure you have good knowledge of Nevada boating laws, so you can stay safe on the waterways and avoid any kind of legal trouble.

You’ll also reduce your risk of boating accidents by understanding and following the laws. Here’s what you need to know before you take your boat out on the water in Nevada.

There Are Age and Licensing Requirements for Operating a Boat

Not just anyone can operate a boat. If you’re going to be the operator of a boat or personal watercraft, you need to be at least 14 years of age unless you have an adult with you. Anyone born on or after January 1, 1983, also has to take a boating education course before they can legally operate a motorboat with more than 15 horsepower on the waterways in the state.

You’ll need a license to operate a boat, so you want to be sure you’ve taken the required course and are old enough, before taking the boat out on the water. If you have children under 14, make sure you don’t let them operate the boat unattended. That can result in boating accidents and fines.

You Need Personal Floatation Devices for Everyone

Everyone on your boat needs a personal floatation device (PFD), and anyone who’s 12 years of age or under needs to be wearing a life jacket when the boat is moving. Even if you’re old enough that wearing a PFD isn’t required, it’s still a good idea to have it on, especially if you’re out in open water where it could take time for help to arrive.

Drinking and Boating is Never a Good Idea

Boating accident attorneys often take on cases where someone has been injured by another party that was drinking and operating their boat. Nevada boating laws make it clear that being under the influence while operating a boat causes boating accidents and comes with significant penalties.

Jail time and fines are common for anyone operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, especially if they cause boating accidents. For accidents with serious injuries, there is the possibility of felony charges and up to 20 years in prison. It’s much better to avoid drinking and drugs while out on the water, to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Make Sure to Register Your Boat Properly

Registering your boat is required in Nevada, to make sure the boat is safe and to help identify it. If you have a boat, take the time to get it registered properly.

Following the laws are important to help reduce boating accidents on Nevada waterways. If you or a loved one has been in an accident and suffered significant injuries from the negligence of another party, reaching out to boating accident attorneys can help you find the support and legal representation you need for fair and just compensation.