The summer is indeed winding down, but there are still some wonderful days of Illinois boating remaining.
Please remember to visit the Illinois Boaters Association webpage and join “Your Voice In The Boating Community.”
As an attorney, I am often asked about various boating registration and boating laws. While I am happy to answer most questions, often times folks just really need information and do not know where to go.
Today’s blog post is designed to give you easy and quick access to information put out by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources(IDNR) regarding various boating laws and information.
While not the easiest page to navigate, the IDNR does maintain a recreational boating page which you can access directly by clicking HERE.
By far, in Illinois the governing legislation that controls boating is the Illinois Boat Registration and Safety Act. Click 2014 Illinois Boat Registration & Safety Act Info for a detailed PDF of this important Illinois boating safety law.
Also an outstanding reference for Illinois Boating Laws is the “Handbook.” This is slightly outdated, but nonetheless an excellent resource. You can download and view the entire Handbook of Illinois Boating Laws & Responsibilities by clicking the link.
Prefer to read the actual law itself for 625 ILCS 45/ Boat Registration & Safety Act that click HERE
Please remember that a law enforcement vessel in Illinois can stop and temporarily detain any boat for a “Safety Inspection.” This safety check is often used as a pretext to evaluate the driver of the boat to see if they are operating the vessel under the influence of alcohol.
With the end of the boating season drawing nearer, one can bet that the Conservation Police and the various local county police agencies will be on patrol (or hiding at choke points such as bridges, channels, and just outside popular bars and marinas) looking to add to the coffers of the various cash strapped agencies.
Operating any motor vehicle in Illinois that does not require a driver’s license, such as a boat, snowmobile, or even a golf cart under the influence of alcohol is called an OUI or Operating Under the Influence. There are many similarities between an OUI and a DUI in terms of how they are prosecuted, punished, and fined. The big difference, is that thanks to your Illinois Boaters Association, attempts to suspend or revoke an Illinois Driver’s License this past session by State Senator’s Terry Link (up for re-election BTW folks) and Julie Morrison (she is up for re-election in 2 years) were stopped butt cold.
An OUI is still no laughing matter. Firstly, you can usually expect to have your boat towed to a local marina. Your day of fun is over in no uncertain terms in any event. It is going to cost you around $400.00 to reclaim your boat and that has nothing to do with everything else you may be facing.
An OUI will also allow the police to search your boat and often they will harass and search your passengers. I am hearing numerous reports of passengers, not under arrest having their drivers licenses taken and having their information searched through a call to the police dispatch. If you have an outstanding warrant, even if just a passenger in a boat and your information is run through a police dispatch, the police officers have a legal obligation to take you into custody. And they will.
An OUI will have a mandatory Court date in the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense took place. In my legal practice, I have had many OUI cases. Sadly, unlike the traditional DUI, where one can argue if the stop was warranted or legitimate, your defense attorney will most likely not be able to offer any such defense as the police can claim a “safety inspection” and avoid any reasonable suspicion or probable cause requirements.
I do highly recommend that a person accused of an OUI seek out a criminal defense attorney who understands not only the OUI laws, but that particular Court system. For example, I practice mainly in Lake and McHenry counties in Illinois and while I have been in Cook and other counties for a variety of reasons and cases, when I get a call from a client accused of OUI in counties other than Lake of McHenry, I often refer them to counsel who has a better familiarity with that local court system.
Most criminal defense attorneys, myself included, will give a potential client a free consultation, but one can expect to pay money up front for any criminal defense attorney to agree to take their case. I am honored to help my fellow boaters and I believe my rate for representation is among the lowest in the area. I have a history of meeting and beating other local defense attorney’s proposed fee for an OUI representation and have no intention of not continuing such activity.
Any alcohol offense in Illinois that involves a motor vehicle, be it a car, boat, snowmobile, heck, even a riding mower has two components. There is the law and order component. The crime if you will. This is the fines, court costs, potential jail time, etc. The Court has no problem with the law and order aspect of any criminal case, but if alcohol or drugs are involved, than often the Court will require that a Alcohol and Drug Evaluation is performed by a state licensed facility and as part of the sentence, the defendant must follow the recommendations of the results of this uniform Alcohol and Drug Evaluation.
In Lake County, Illinois, you must get this evaluation at a NICASA facility. NICASA can be found on the web HERE You do not have to return to NICASA for any ordered treatment, but the evaluation will set you back around $150.00 (or less if you sign an affidavit of indecency indicating you are basically broke).
The uniform Alcohol and Drug Evaluation is a structured interview followed by a question and answer session. Your answers will be scored and at the conclusion, your “Risk Factor” will be determined. The higher the risk factor, the more treatment will be required by the Court. An experienced attorney can help prepare you for this evaluation.
An OUI plea, or any result in Court other than a dismissal or a finding of not guilty will also have an additional component of having the offender have to complete what is called a Live Victim Impact Panel (VIP). This is scheduled through the local community college, usually costs around $50.00 and exposes the offender to real life victims and their families of drug and alcohol related crimes and events. Needless to say, this is a live event and (pun intended) sobering experience.
There is much more to a DUI or OUI situation than what can be or should be covered in a blog post. It is my hope that this post underscores the seriousness and ramifications of an OUI situation. It is my hope to meet my fellow boaters on the water or perhaps serve them in other legal capacities such as when they are buying or selling real estate, need a will, or any of the other legal arenas in which I practice. That being said, if I can help, I am honored to do so.
Be safe on the water. Be wise on the water. As the weather chills and the general Illinois election campaign system heats up, why not ask the politicians running for office if they would support an Illinois Boaters Bill of Rights? At the Illinois Boaters Association we have proposed an Illinois Boaters Bill of Rights for consideration, debate, and hopeful implementation into the laws that affect boating in Illinois. See our proposed Draft Illinois Boaters Bill of Rights by clicking the link.
See you on the water!
The Illinois Boater’s Association, which can be found here: Illinois Boaters Association was indeed born in the shadow of the Northern Illinois Chain O’Lakes, but by no means does this translate to not celebrating all of the waters of Illinois.
As the Executive Director of the Illinois Boater’s Association, I have heard many amazing stories about various boating adventures and experiences all over the State of Illinois. In my capacity as an attorney, I had the privilege to attend a recent municipal meeting in the Village of Wauconda, Illinois. Part of that meeting was updating members of that board on Bang’s Lake.
Bang’s Lake is a self-contained, Village of Wauconda managed 309 acre body of water, 6.3 miles of shore line located not far at all from the Chain O’Lakes. It is often a secondary destination when high waters on the Fox River render the Chain as a no-wake.
The officials of Wauconda handed out a very informative two (2) page information sheet on Bang’s Lake which can be downloaded right here: Wauconda-Bangs Lake Info
The Village of Wauconda maintains a very informative page on this gorgeous body of water appropriately entitled Beautiful Bangs Lake
It is truly worth taking a look at the rules and regulations and minor costs associated with a day adventure on Bangs Lake. Many answers and fishing limit and size information can be easily found here: Wauconda-Bangs Lake Info
A day on the water is often complimented by a great place to dine and enjoy a beverage. Along the shores of Bangs Lake is Lindy’s Landing, which boasts excellent food, wonderful views, and its own marina. Lindy’s even has its own sand beaches for the enjoyment of patrons and guests.
If you have not been on the waters of Bangs Lake, why not add it to your Illinois Boating to-do list?
And now the open challenge and invitation to all. Have a favorite Illinois body of water? Any stories, recommendations, information, and photos to share? Part of our mission at the Illinois Boaters Association is to celebrate and educate folks on Illinois waters. We would be most interested in your thoughts, experiences, and insights. Please feel free to send your thoughts, stories, pictures, and info to firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to me at DavidZipp@lawyer.com
You can be one of our roving Illinois boating reporters! Please submit your stories for sharing with the Illinois boating community today! Please keep submissions under 500 words and please add pictures. We need to reserve the right to edit submissions as necessary, but full credit will be given to all who are published.
We still have several good weeks left for boating, get out there and enjoy!
Please join Illinois Boater’s Association President Rob Hardman at his Chain O’Lakes landmark “Mile Away From Reality” bar, Blarney Island for a historic ribbon cutting and dedication of the new bar on the island.
Come be a part of history. Help support Blarney Island and the Illinois Boaters Association. Why should you support us? Here is our proposed Illinois Boater’s Bill of Rights:
It is that time of year again, where new law students head off to law school…
For those going, seriously the best of luck. You may want to check out my very affordable law school outlines for sale on this site as they just might get you through 1L and beyond.
This amused the heck out of me while in law school and there is a sad truth to it. Enjoy the video:
While in law school, your bestest friend will be your laptop computer which you will stare at for hours on end.
You will study old law, old law decisions, and old theory. Keeping with the oldies but goodies theme, here is what kept me going a few years back:
Now just when you think you can’t wait to get out of Law School and start making all that money, one more funny video for you:
Honest advice to any law student – learn as much as you can, but try to enjoy the experience. Life is hard, it is even harder if you are stupid. If your are in law school for any other reason other than you wish to become an attorney and/or have a desire for a legal education, you are wasting a lot of time and money. If, on the other hand, you can get through the crucible that is law school, your world will forever be changed (hopefully for the better).
Best of luck to all incoming 1L’s all over the nation. We will see you a bit more near sighted, and certainly paler around Christmas after finals…
For everyone who knows or loves a law student, thank you. They need you now more than they will admit.
For everyone wanting a little taste and understanding of law school life, enjoy:
Last evening, August, 13 2014, in its monthly Executive Board of Directors meeting, the Illinois Boaters Association approved its first draft of a proposed Illinois Boater’s Bill of Rights. As Executive Director of the Illinois Boaters Association and our Boaters Are Voters political action committee (PAC), I am honored to present our first draft of our proposed Bill of Rights for the Illinois Boater:Proposed Illinois Boater’s Bill of Rights – August 2014
The Illinois Boaters Association needs your voice and support. Truly, we are your voice in the boating community. Please visit http://ilboat.org/ for more information and to join!
You can download a PDF of our proposed Illinois Boater’s Bill of rights here: Draft Illinois Boaters Bill of Rights
As many of you know, the Illinois Boaters Association and our Boaters Are Voters PAC is a non-partisan, issued based grass-roots initiative. Your can read an exhibit laden history of our first year here.
The Illinois Boaters Association’s core and established mission is three-fold.
1. Advocacy – We are a unified voice of the boating community. We work with elected officials at all levels in Illinois to promote intelligent, fair, and reasonable boating related legislation.
2. Education – We seek a safe boating experience for all and believe that an educated boater is a safer boater.
3. Celebration – Illinois has mile upon mile of majestic navigable bodies of water from Lake Michigan and the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, to the Chain O’Lakes and thousands of miles in-between. We celebrate our natural treasure and promote its enjoyment.
Boaters Are Voters Endorsement of Illinois Politicians
The Illinois Boaters Association seeks to educate and endorse those politicians running for various offices in Illinois. In the past we have used a questionnaire, but for the indefinite future and certainly through the fall 2014 General Election, it is our position that the Illinois Boaters Association and our Boaters Are Voters PAC will endorse any candidate for office that submits to us on campaign letterhead or via email from their campaign that they endorse the strong consideration, debate of, and the eventual implementation of our proposed Illinois Boater’s Bill of Rights.
As our PAC name suggests, Boaters Are Voters. Ours is a an exceptionally diverse group of all walks of life who come together in our common passion for spending time on or near the waters of Illinois. Our proposed Illinois Boater’s Bill of Rights is reasonable and sadly, a necessary codification of freedoms Illinois boaters should enjoy on the waters of Illinois.
Any candidate seeking endorsement, need only communicate in writing or via email to the Illinois Boaters Association. All of our contact information can be found here.
Together, we have already helped shape the laws that affect boating in Illinois. Let your local town, county, and Springfield know that Boaters Are Voters!
Great news for drivers with Illinois Driver’s Licenses! In a surprisingly intelligent move (it must be an election year), Governor Pat Quinn has signed Illinois Senate Bill 2853 into law creating Public Act 98-0870. This law allows a driver to simply sign the citation (traffic ticket) as a guarantee that they will appear in court and/or pay any associated fines. Previously, the actual driver’s license was seized by the police unless the driver was able to post a cash bond. Not every driver has $80-$120 dollars on them in cash at any given time.
You can read the law here: Senate Bill 2853
Illinois Imperious Leader, ‘ol triple your taxes Governor Pat Quinn is on record as saying: “A driver’s license is an important form of identification, and without it many residents may run into problems during everyday situations when a valid ID is required. This common sense legislation will allow law enforcement officials to continue doing their jobs while letting motorists hang onto a vital piece of identification.”
This is indeed common sense legislation and way overdue in coming. While not a national ID card, a driver’s license is used as the default government issued ID. While enforcing the traffic laws of the state are indeed important, the seizure of a person’s driver’s license by law enforcement created an undue burden on the citizen.
From personal experience, when I was in law school at Southern Illinois University, School of Law, I received a speeding ticket on Route 12 in Lake Zurich. I was heading back to Carbondale, Illinois which is hundreds of miles south of Lake County to take that semester’s final exams. I am ever grateful to my mother-in-law who had given me $100.00 cash that morning as without her wonderful gift, I would not have had money to “bond” out my license and the police would have held my license. This would have been a major problem as you cannot take you law school exams without a valid driver’s license. I remember wondering on that long drive back to law school, what the heck I would have done if I did not have that $100.00? I also remember wondering why a driver’s license should be seized for a minor driving infraction?
Illinois has a history of horrible legislation and even worse proposed legislation. Today is a great day for the citizen of Illinois as for once the best interests of the people were put forward by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor. I urge voters to demand more common sense legislation from their elected officials.
To celebrate this traffic related good legislation, I am running a special for traffic court in Lake or McHenry Counties. $200.00 flat fee for most citations (call me at 847-980-3610 or email me at DavidZipp@lawyer.com for more information).
Years ago, I made a narrated video on the Illinois Equine Liability Act. I fielded two or three emails in the few weeks that ZippToCourt.com has been in the process of its major and quite cool if I-do-say-so- myself update. A wise man will tell you to always do you best to make a horse owner happy, and thus everything you ever wanted to know, but probably could care less and thus never asked about the Illinois Equine Liability Act. Click below to begin the informative video or just click on the built in player.
Zipp on the Illinois Equine Liability Act
While not nearly as nifty as dancing cat video, I fielded a call today asking where they could find this kinda nifty video on the Illinois Equine Liability Act, so as I update the new ZippToCourt.com, I wanted to make sure I made my clients happy.
The State of Illinois has the following handout for your reading pleasure:
Need an Attorney with some Horse Sense?
Your barn is your business but it is also a huge risk!
Need riding waivers, enforceable lease contracts or a general presentation to staff, boarders, and support/vendor partners?