New law for boaters taking effect

Joyce L. Miller
A bill to protect dock owners from trespassing is about to become law.

Dock owners on Lake of the Ozarks will soon have some recourse for unwanted boaters trespassing on their property or anchoring too close. 

Effective Aug. 28, it will become illegal to be within 100 feet of someone else's dock, tie up to it or block another boat from getting in and out. 

The bill was drafted to address a longstanding problem on the lake. Unless a dock is deeded a certain way, it is not considered real property, therefore, it was not illegal for someone to go onto another person's dock, leaving dock owners with no way to stop people from coming onto private docks. The bill changes that, as well as prohibits boats from anchoring within 100 feet of a dock without the owner's permission.  

First-time violators will be subject to a ticket for an infraction. Repeat offenders will be subject to a class B misdemeanor.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Justin Brown, R-Rolla. It was the second time the bill had been filed. Ameren Missouri and the Missouri Highway Patrol testified in favor of the bill.