Maine Revised Statutes

§2267-A. Submerged motor vehicles, snowmobile and watercraft in waters of the State

The following provisions apply when a motor vehicle is submerged or partially submerged in waters of the State or when a snowmobile or watercraft is submerged in the inland waters of the State. [2009, c. 340, §26 (AMD).]

1. Definition.  When used in this section the term "motor vehicle" means any self-propelled vehicle designed to carry persons or property or used to transport persons, except snowmobiles and watercraft. The term "watercraft," when used in this section, means any type of craft placed on the inland waters of the State, whether used as a means of transportation or for other purposes.
[ 2009, c. 340, §26 (AMD) .]
2. Notice of submerged vehicle, snowmobile or watercraft to be given to department.  The owner of any motor vehicle that becomes submerged or partially submerged in the waters of the State shall immediately, by the fastest means of communication, notify the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife of the event and the location of the vehicle. The owner of a snowmobile or watercraft that becomes submerged in the inland waters of the State for more than 24 hours shall notify the commissioner as provided in this subsection.
The commissioner shall, upon receiving notice of a submerged or partially submerged vehicle in the waters of the State or a submerged snowmobile or watercraft in the inland waters of the State, notify the Chief of the State Police, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and any municipality or public utility that regulates the uses of the waters as a source of public water supply pursuant to Title 22, sections 2641 to 2648.
[ 2009, c. 340, §26 (AMD) .]
3. Owner legally liable to remove vehicle, snowmobile or watercraft.  The owner of the vehicle is legally liable to remove any motor vehicle submerged or partially submerged in the waters of the State and pay any damages resulting from the submersion or removal. The vehicle must be removed within 30 days of the submersion or partial submersion or within 30 days of "ice out" in the body of water unless the commissioner determines that the vehicle creates a health or safety hazard. If the commissioner determines that the vehicle creates a health or safety hazard the commissioner shall order the owner to remove the vehicle immediately. If the owner fails to remove the vehicle upon order of the commissioner, the commissioner shall, in writing, request the court to direct the owner to remove the vehicle immediately. The owner of a snowmobile or watercraft that is submerged in the inland waters of this State for longer than 24 hours shall remove the snowmobile or watercraft in accordance with this subsection.
[ 2009, c. 340, §26 (AMD) .]
4. Financial responsibility.  A conviction or adjudication of any person for a violation of this section constitutes a violation of state law relative to motor vehicles to which Title 29-A, chapter 13 applies.
[ 1995, c. 65, Pt. A, §52 (AMD); 1995, c. 65, Pt. A, §153 (AFF); 1995, c. 65, Pt. C, §15 (AFF) .]
5. Penalties.  A violation of this section is a civil violation for which a forfeiture of $200 may be adjudged. In addition to a forfeiture, or instead of a forfeiture, the judge may direct the person convicted to remove the vehicle, snowmobile or watercraft.
[ 2009, c. 340, §26 (AMD) .]
6. Rules.  The commissioner may, in accordance with the provisions of Title 5, chapter 375, adopt any rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
[ 2009, c. 340, §26 (AMD) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1981, c. 578, (NEW). 1995, c. 65, §A52 (AMD). 1995, c. 65, §§A153,C15 (AFF). 2001, c. 536, §3 (AMD). 2009, c. 340, §26 (AMD).