(1) Every person convicted of a criminal violation of this chapter, every person convicted of a noncriminal infraction under this chapter if the infraction resulted in a reportable boating accident, and every person convicted of two noncriminal infractions as defined in s. 327.73(1)(h)-(k), (m), (o), (p), and (s)-(x), said infractions occurring within a 12-month period, must:
(a) Enroll in, attend, and successfully complete, at his or her own expense, a boating safety course that meets minimum standards established by the commission by rule; however, the commission may provide by rule pursuant to chapter 120 for waivers of the attendance requirement for violators residing in areas where classroom presentation of the course is not available;
(b) File with the commission within 90 days proof of successful completion of the course;
(c) Refrain from operating a vessel until he or she has filed the proof of successful completion of the course with the commission.
Any person who has successfully completed an approved boating course shall be exempt from these provisions upon showing proof to the commission as specified in paragraph (b).
(2) For the purposes of this section, “conviction” means a finding of guilt, or the acceptance of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether or not adjudication was withheld or whether imposition of sentence was withheld, deferred, or suspended. Any person who operates a vessel on the waters of this state in violation of the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) The commission shall print on the reverse side of the defendant’s copy of the boating citation a notice of the provisions of this section. Upon conviction, the clerk of the court shall notify the defendant that it is unlawful for him or her to operate any vessel until he or she has complied with this section, but failure of the clerk of the court to provide such a notice shall not be a defense to a charge of unlawful operation of a vessel under subsection (2).