Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 29.1. Wildlife, Inland Fisheries and Boating
Chapter 7. Boating Laws
12/5/2022

§ 29.1-745. Enforcement of chapter; vessels displaying Coast Guard inspection decal.

A. Every conservation police officer, officer of the Virginia Marine Police, and other law-enforcement officer of the Commonwealth and its subdivisions shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter and shall have authority to stop, board, and inspect any vessel subject to this chapter after having identified himself in his official capacity. Except for enforcement of § 29.1-738 and the requirement of having the registration certificate on board, the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any vessel of 26 feet or more in length on which is displayed a current valid United States Coast Guard or United States Coast Guard Auxiliary inspection decal.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, no conservation police officer, officer of the Virginia Marine Police, or other law-enforcement officer shall, without the consent of the owner, stop, board, or inspect any noncommercial vessel subject to this chapter unless such officer has reasonable suspicion that a violation of law or regulation exists, except that conservation police officers and officers of the Virginia Marine Police may conduct lawful stops or boardings to inspect hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses pursuant to §§ 28.2-231 and 29.1-337 or to inspect creel and bag limits pursuant to § 29.1-209 and may conduct lawful boating safety checkpoints in accordance with established agency policy.

1960, c. 500, § 62-174.17; 1964, c. 654; 1968, c. 659, § 62.1-184; 1980, c. 567; 1987, c. 488; 2007, c. 87; 2015, c. 484.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.