Release Date: 08/11/2009

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) is advising boaters to be aware of new boating regulations that will go into effect on Aug. 15, 2009 including new regulations on personal flotation devices (PFD) also known as life jackets.

The recent legislative session produced some new boating regulations that will affect recreational boaters. Here is a summary of the new regulations:

--Anyone 16 years of age or younger, onboard a vessel less than 26 feet, is required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD while the vessel is underway. The law previously stated that anyone under 12 was required to wear a PFD.

--Penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) now include the suspension or revocation of boating privileges when a person loses driving privileges due to suspension or revocation of their driver's license due to a DWI or DWI refusal whether the offense took place in a vehicle or a watercraft.

--Beginning July 1, 2010, persons born after Jan. 1, 1984 are required to successfully complete a boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower. The law previously stated that anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988 was required to complete a course. Operators born between Jan. 1, 1984 and Dec. 31, 1987 have until July 1, 2010 to complete a course.

The LDWF/LED also wants to remind boaters to follow the rules of the road, wear a life jacket and designate a sober vessel operator to keep Louisiana's waterways safe for all boaters.

For more information on regulations or boating safety, please visit our Web site at For more information on boating education courses please visit

For more information, contact Lt. Rachel Zechenelly at 225-765-2984 or