(a) All persons twelve (12) years of age and under in an open boat or on an open deck of a vessel being used for recreational purposes on the waters of this state shall wear a United States coast guard approved wearable personal flotation device while such vessel is underway. Any personal flotation devices required by this section shall be in good and serviceable condition, appropriately sized and properly worn by the person. It is unlawful for any person to operate a vessel in violation of this section.
(b) This section does not apply to a commercial vessel owned and operated by a commercial entity that charges a per passenger fee.
(c) A violation of the provisions of this section is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00).
(d) Any person cited under the provisions of this section shall be given thirty (30) days to provide to the officer proof of legal age and for good cause shown, in the judgment of the officer, such period shall be extended for an additional period of thirty (30) days. In the event the proof shows that the person was of legal age at the time of arrest, the individual shall not be required to appear in court and the court, upon request of the officer, shall dismiss the citation and there shall be no costs asessed to the person.
Acts 1997, ch. 57, §§ 1, 2; T.C.A. § 69-10-225.