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Subject 391-4-17 BOATING VIOLATOR COMPACT

Rule 391-4-17-.01 Effective Date

These provisions shall become effective upon compliance with the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act and continue in force and effect until changed or repealed.

Rule 391-4-17-.02 Purpose

The purpose of these rules and regulations is to establish the administrative procedures necessary to carry out the purposes of Article 1A of Title 52, Chapter 7, Boating Violator Compact. The Boating Violator Compact is a voluntary interstate agreement which provides participating states with a mechanism to participate in a reciprocal program to:

(1) Promote compliance with the statutes, laws, administrative rules and regulations relating to boating safety in their respective states, and
(2) Provide for the fair and impartial treatment of boating violators within the participating states in recognition of the individual's right of due process and the sovereign status of a party state.

Rule 391-4-17-.03 Boating Violator Compact Manual

Subject to all applicable statutes and the constitution of the State of Georgia, including the provisions of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act", and pursuant to the provisions of O.C.G.A. 52-7-31(c), the following Boating Violator Compact Manual hereby establishes the administrative and procedural guidelines for participation in the Boating Violator Compact.

Boating Violator Compact Manual

Section I

The following are the general procedures to be followed by Georgia Conservation Rangers in handling boating misdemeanor violations committed by individuals who are not residents of Georgia, but are a resident of a Boating Violator Compact (BVC) member state at the time of the violation.

Georgia non-residents who are residents of a BVC member state at the time of the misdemeanor boating violation occurring in Georgia may be released on personal recognizance under the following conditions:

Violations covered

1. Any violation subject to the provisions of a "Penalty Assessment", which allows a violator to comply with a citation by mailing a fine payment to the issuing agency or a court.
2. Any violation written as a summons requiring a violator to deal directly with the court, either in person, by mail or through an attorney. Unless there are other restrictions in this document or in the laws, policies or procedures of the issuing state or the court of jurisdiction.
3. In order for a violation to be subject to these provisions the person to whom the citation is issued must be a resident of a Compact state, other than the issuing state, at the time the citation is issued.

Types of Violations Not Covered

1. Any violations that mandate a personal appearance.
2. Any petty offense or misdemeanor violation that has a jail term as a mandatory penalty.
3. Any felony violation.
4. Any violation that the issuing officer deems serious enough to arrest a resident violator.
5. Any violation or situation which the laws, policies or procedures of the State of Georgia dictate shall be handled otherwise.
I. Procedures for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources
A. The officer issues a citation to the violator on the standard form used by Georgia DNR.
1. When a non-resident is issued a citation and released on personal recognizance under the provisions of this compact, it is advisable that the signature of the recipient is contained on the citation, regardless of specific requirements on that issue. A physical description of the recipient (height, weight, eye color, and hair color) should also be listed.
2. The citation is returnable to the court at a future date specified on the document, in accordance with the laws, regulations, policies, or procedures of the State of Georgia and/or the Court of jurisdiction.
B. If the violator pays the fine or resolves the case with the court, as appropriate, the matter is closed and no further action is taken.
C. If the violator does not resolve the case by payment of the fine or with the court, action under the provisions of the BVC will be initiated.
1. The "Defendant's Notice of Failure to Comply" form will be completed and the original delivered to the violator by certified mail, return receipt requested, or in person. The remaining copies (Home State Notice of Failure to Comply, Defendant's Notice of Compliance, and Home State Notice of Compliance) are held in a suspense file pending a response from the violator.
a. Sufficient time will be allowed for the defendant to respond to the Defendant's Notice of Failure to Comply Form prior to initiating further action under the BVC. This will normally not be less than 14 days and not more than 28 days, or within any other grace period established by the Board of Compact Administrators, as defined in Code Section 52-7-30.
b. If the defendant complies with the terms of the citation within the grace period allowed, no further action is taken under the provisions of this section of the BVC. Final action in a court case is not a prerequisite for compliance.
2. If the defendant fails to respond within the time allowed, the "Home State Notice of Failure to Comply" will be sent to the home state of the defendant by Georgia DNR administrative personnel.

Any "Home State Notice of Failure to Comply" shall be processed by the issuing state and reported to the home state within six months of issuance of the citation, or within any other time frame that may be established by the Board of Compact Administrators.

a. If at any time beyond this point in the BVC process the defendant resolves the case with the court, it is imperative that copies 3 and 4, (Defendant's and Home State Notice of Compliance) be mailed immediately so that any pending or ongoing suspension of license privileges by the home state of the defendant which are the result of the action at hand may be canceled.
b. At any time subsequent to the mailing of the "Home State Notice of Failure to Comply" that the violator complies with the citation, no further actions under this Section of the BVC will take place.

Methods of Compliance

1. Payment by mail where provided for.
2. Responding to the citation in person.
3. Submission of a plea by mail where allowed.
4. Responding through an attorney where allowed.

Evidence of Compliance (in response to a notice of suspension for non-compliance).

1. Certificate from the court.
2. Copy of the court judgment.

NOTE: personal representations, check stubs, money order receipts, etc. are not acceptable.

3. The violator copy of a Notice of Compliance sent by the issuing state.

Section II

The following are the general procedures to be followed by the home state of an individual committing boating violations in another BVC member state, who upon release on personal recognizance failed to resolve the case as appropriate, even after the "Defendant's Notice of Failure to Comply" has been sent, and the issuing state has had to send the "Home State Notice of Failure to Comply".

I. Procedures for the Home State
A. Upon receipt of the "Home State Notice of Failure to Comply" from the issuing state, the agency or licensing authority of the home state of the violator will review the form for the following:
1. Is it legible?
2. Is it complete?
3. Is it timely, within the six-month limit, or other limit established by the Board of Compact Administrators, of the compact?
4. Is the violation covered under the compact?
5. Are all other aspects of the case proper under applicable state laws, policies, and procedures?
B. If for any reason the case cannot be acted on, it will be returned to the issuing state within 14 days, or other time frame established by the Board of Compact Administrators, with an explanation of the problem. If all problems are resolved and the case is returned to the home state it will be processed as outlined in this section.
C. If the case is accepted, it will be entered into the suspension process of the home state.
D. A Notice of Suspension will be prepared and sent to the violator.
1. The Notice of Suspension should have a delayed effective date to permit the violator to contact the court in the issuing state and resolve the case. The length of this delay is subject to the laws, policies or procedures of the home state, but should be at least 14 days in length. Upon receipt of a "Home State Notice of Failure to Comply" by the Georgia DNR, the licensee or permit holder shall be notified of the proposed suspension or revocation personally or by a letter sent by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the last known address of the licensee or registration holder. The notice of proposed suspension or revocation shall be deemed received three days after mailing. The revocation or suspension shall become final 30 days after issuance if not appealed.
2. The Notice of Suspension must inform the violator of the facts behind the suspension with special emphasis on the procedures to be followed in resolving the matter with the court in the issuing state. Accurate information on the court (name, address, phone number) must be provided in the Notice of Suspension. This will help eliminate inquiries of the home state which are costly, time consuming and nonproductive as the home state can do nothing to resolve the case.
E. Should the defendant request a hearing on the suspension, it will follow the form appropriate to the laws, policies or procedures of the home state. Georgia residents receiving a Notice of Suspension from the Georgia DNR under the BVC provisions for failure to comply with the terms of a citation issued in another BVC member state shall request, in writing, a hearing within 30 days from the date of personal notice or receipt of notice sent by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, or the right to said hearing shall be deemed waived. If a request for hearing is timely made by such a Georgia resident, the hearing shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act". The hearing shall be recorded.
1. Such hearings will be restricted to challenging the right of the home state to suspend under the provisions of the BVC; to deny receiving the original citation (thus the importance of the violator's signature on the citation); or to claim that the case has been resolved.
2. The question of guilt or innocence regarding the original charge will not be a subject of hearings held under the provisions of this section.
3. If needed, assistance can be requested from the issuing state. This is normally limited to obtaining certified documentation.
4. NOTE: Suspensions levied for failure to comply with the terms of a citation are enforced in the home state of the violator and honored by all compact states. These administrative suspensions are not to be confused with suspensions which are the result of convictions of boating violations in one or more states which are participants in the BVC.
F. If the suspension is upheld, the defendant must then proceed to resolve the court case with the suspension remaining in effect.
G. If the suspension is denied for any reason, the case is terminated and the suspension order vacated. In such cases the issuing state will be informed of the reason for denial.
H. Appeals from suspension orders will be handled in accordance with the laws, policies and procedures of the home state.
1. Should a suspension order be overturned on appeal, the issuing state shall be notified.
I. When a violator resolves a case with the court in the issuing state, an acknowledgement of compliance will be issued directly to that person. It is the responsibility of the violator to present this document to the agency or licensing authority in the home state in order to terminate the suspension. The acknowledgement of compliance may take any form acceptable to the home state and the court.
1. If the acknowledgement of compliance is presented prior to the effective date of the suspension, the suspension is cleared immediately.
2. If the acknowledgement of compliance is presented after the effective date of the suspension, reinstatement will be handled in accordance with the laws, policies and procedures of the home state.
J. Any reinstatement or restoration fees shall be established and assessed in accordance with the laws, policies and procedures of the home state.

Section III

Reciprocal Recognition of Suspensions

States participating in the BVC shall recognize the suspension for cause of the license privileges or rights of any person by any other BVC participating state. This reciprocal recognition of suspensions is not to be confused with suspensions levied for failure to comply as outlined in Section I and II above. Suspensions for cause of license privileges are the result of a conviction, or an accumulation of convictions, of boating violations in one or more states which are participants in the BVC.

When the Georgia Department of Natural Resources receives notice of suspension of a person's boating privileges or licenses by a BVC member state, the Department shall determine whether the violation, or accumulation of violations, leading to the suspension could have led to the suspension of rights, privileges, or licenses under Georgia law. If the Department determines that the person's privileges or licenses could have been suspended under Georgia law, the department shall suspend the person's licenses, rights, and privileges to operate a vessel in Georgia, pursuant to O.C.G.A. 52-7-30, Article VI, for the same period as imposed by the BVC member state.

A. States participating in the BVC shall recognize the suspension for cause of the boating license, privileges or rights of any person by any other party state if:
1. The suspension is the result of a conviction for one or more of the following violations or a failure to appear on a boating citation:
a. Priority will be placed on the following violation types:

VIOLATION

BVC CODE

Operating vessel under the influence

BUI

Reckless operation

REK

Navigation Rules of the Road

NAV

License violations, fraud, false statement

LIV

Accumulated boating violations

ACV

Violations while on revocation

REV

Safety Equipment violations

SFV

Other criminal violations

OTV

Failure to Appear

FTA

Homicide/Feticide by Vessel

HBV

Serious Injury by Vessel

SIV

Interfering with an Officer

IWO

2. And, such recognition of suspension is not contrary to the laws of that state.
B. Recognition of suspensions which do not meet the criteria of Section III.A.1 and 2 as outlined above will be up to the laws, policies and procedures of that state.
C. Each state participating in the BVC shall communicate suspension information to other participating states, using the Interstate Boating Violator Compact database. Party states will use the guidelines prescribed by database administration. At a minimum the following information will be included:
1. Positive identification of the subject of the suspension. Including:
a. Name
b. Date of birth
c. Physical description
d. Last known address
2. The basis of the suspension including:
a. Violation(s) and convictions upon which the suspension is based.
b. The scope of the suspension (i.e. operating, licenses, all privileges or rights).
c. Effective dates of the suspension and term of the suspension
D. In the event documentation of a violation and subsequent license suspension is needed by a member state for suspension hearings or other purposes, the issuing state shall provide certified copies of the citation or other charging instrument, any arrest or investigation reports, suspension orders and the disposition of the matter.

Section IV

Transmittal of Conviction Information to the Home State of the Violator

When the Georgia Department of Natural Resources receives notice of a conviction of a Georgia resident from the agency or licensing authority of a BVC member state, the Department shall treat the conviction as if it had occurred in Georgia.

A. Upon a conviction, the issuing state shall forward to the home state of the violator the following information:
1. Personal Information
a. Name
b. Date of birth
c. Sex
d. Physical description (height, weight, hair, eyes)
e. Last known address
2. Violation Information
a. Citation number
b. Violation description
c. Fine assessed
B. For the purpose of consideration for license suspension, the home state shall treat such convictions in other BVC member states as if they had occurred in the home state.
C. In the event detailed information on a violation is needed by the home state, for license suspension hearings or other purposes, the issuing state shall provide certified copies of the citation or other charging instrument, any arrest or investigation reports and the disposition of the matter.

Section V.

Administrative Matters

I. Entry into the Compact
A. Entry into the BVC may be accomplished by the following methods.
1. A state legislature may accomplish BVC joinder by adopting the full compact as a statute.
2. A state legislature may authorize and direct that state's boating enforcement agency to enter into the compact.
B. Upon legislative action as specified above, entry into the BVC shall be finalized by the submission of a resolution of ratification and an informational application submitted to the chairman of the board of compact administrators.

The resolution of ratification shall be signed by the chief administrator of the boating agency or licensing authority and shall include:

1. A citation and copy of the authority by which the state is empowered to become a member of the Boating Violator Compact;
2. Statement of agreement to comply with the terms and provisions of the compact; and
3. A statement that compact entry is with all states then party to the Boating Violator Compact and with any state that legally becomes a party to the compact.
C. The effective date of entry shall be specified by the applying state but shall be at least sixty (60) days after notice has been given to each member state by the chairman of the board of compact administrators.
D. Only violations which are committed on or after the effective date of entry, and resulting suspensions, shall be subject to the provisions of the Compact.
II. Withdrawal from the Compact
A. A member state may withdraw from the BVC by submitting official written notice to the other member states. Such withdrawal shall not be effective until ninety (90) days after such notice is mailed.
B. Such notice must be directed to the compact administrator of each member state.
C. The withdrawal of one or more member states shall have no effect on the validity of the BVC as to the remaining member states.