75A-17. Enforcement of Chapter.

(a) Every wildlife protector and every other law-enforcement officer of this State and its subdivisions shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this Chapter and in the exercise thereof shall have authority to stop any vessel subject to this Chapter. Wildlife protectors or other law enforcement officers of this State, after having identified themselves as law enforcement officers, shall have authority to board and inspect any vessel subject to this Chapter.

(b) In order to secure broader enforcement of the provisions of this Chapter, the Commission is authorized to enter into an agreement with the Department of Environmental Quality whereby the enforcement personnel of the Department shall assume responsibility for enforcing the provisions of this Chapter in the territory and area normally policed by enforcement personnel of the Commission and whereby the Commission shall contribute a share of the expense of such personnel according to a ratio of time and effort expended by them in enforcing the provisions of this Chapter, when the ratio has been agreed upon by both of the contracting agencies. The agreement may be modified from time to time as conditions may warrant.

(c) Law enforcement vessels may use a flashing blue light on the waters of this State whenever they are engaged in law enforcement or public safety activities. The use of a blue light by any other vessel is prohibited. A person other than a law enforcement officer who activates, installs, or operates a flashing blue light on a vessel other than a law enforcement vessel is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(d) A siren may not be used on any vessel other than an official law enforcement vessel or other official emergency response vessel.

(e) Vessels operated on the waters of this State shall stop when directed to do so by a law enforcement officer. When stopped, vessels shall remain at idle speed, or shall maneuver in such a way as to permit the officer to come alongside the vessel. Law enforcement officers may direct vessels to stop by using a flashing blue light, a siren, or an oral command by officers in uniform. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(f) Vessels operated on the waters of this State shall slow to a no-wake speed when passing within 100 feet of a law enforcement vessel that is displaying a flashing blue light unless the vessel is in a narrow channel. Vessels operated on the waters of this State in a narrow channel shall slow to a no-wake speed when passing within 50 feet of a law enforcement vessel that is displaying a flashing blue light. A person who violates this subsection is responsible for an infraction as provided in G.S. 14-3.1. (1959, c. 1064, s. 17; 1965, c. 957, s. 9; 1973, c. 1262, ss. 28, 86; 1977, c. 771, s. 4; 1989, c. 727, s. 218(17); 1997-443, s. 11A.119(a); 2006-185, s. 1; 2013-360, s. 18B.15(d); 2015-241, s. 14.30(u).)