3 Ways to Stay on the Right Side of the Law While on Vacation in Utah

The sun is finally shining in Utah, the days are longer, and summertime is well underway. Millions of tourists are taking advantage of the warm weather to enjoy famous sightseeing and attractions with family and friends.

However, if you’re not careful, innocent recreation can put you on the wrong side of the law. Here are three things you should be aware of before embarking on fun summer adventures in Utah.

Make Sure You Have the Right Permits

If you are hunting or fishing, you need to have the proper documentation. Conservation officers have the power to check on you. If you don’t have the proper permit, tag, or license, you can get charged with a class B misdemeanor. If convicted, that means up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines or compensatory service.

The type of documentation you need depends on what you are doing. If you are a hunter, you will need a license. This means taking a hunter safety course if you were born after 1965. You will also need a permit based on which animal you plan to hunt. For some creatures, there is a limit to the amount of permits the state will give out. If you want to hunt one of them, you will have to apply for a drawing.

If you are fishing, you will also need a license. Fortunately, you do not have to complete a course to obtain one. You just have to pay a fee depending on your residency status and age.

Take Proper Precautions When Boating

You can’t just plop your boat on the water and be good to go. There are legal requirements to keep in mind.

If you have a sailboat or a boat with a motor, it needs to be registered. The process is similar to registering a motor vehicle. Registration has to be renewed annually, and if it’s done in another state, you can still take your boat out on the water in Utah.

Motor boats do require licenses, but not for people 18 or over. If you are between the ages of 12 and 17, you can obtain one as long as you take a boating education course, which can be completed online. Minors between 12 and 15 who have met this requirement have to be supervised by an adult. 

Utah also has safety regulations. By law, you need to have a personal floatation device for every person on board and a fire extinguisher. If your boat has an inboard gasoline engine, you need to have a carburetor backfire flame control device. Violating these regulations is an infraction.

Know About Airport Restrictions

If your plans include flying to another state, you need to be aware of regulations enforced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), especially if you plan to travel with a firearm. Depending on where you go, it is legal to bring a gun, but it has to be unloaded and in checked baggage. You’re also supposed to check it at the ticket counter and find out whether the airline has fees or limitations.

If you bring a firearm to the security checkpoint, you can get a hefty fine of up to $14,950. That fine is civil, not criminal, but you may be arrested as well. According to Utah law, it’s a class A misdemeanor if you knowingly bring a firearm into a secure area of the airport. This means you can get up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

It’s also not a good idea to bring illegal substances on your flight. The TSA dosn’t necessarily look for drugs, but if an agent finds something, they’ll refer it to law enforcement. You can be charged with a class A misdemeanor if you are in possession of a Schedule I or II substance.

What To Do If You Violate the Laws While on Vacation

If you get arrested for any reason, don’t talk to police about what you are accused of until you have an attorney representing you. Even if you are guilty, a good lawyer will help you navigate the legal process to get you the best possible outcome.

The greatest attorneys are ones with experience, and that is what you’ll find at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat. Our lawyers have over two decades under their belt. They have helped many people through tricky situations, and they would love to do the same for you.

For a consultation, call (801) 532-5297.


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