The Cayman Islands is a very safe place to live, with a strong legal system based on English common law. To avoid getting into any unnecessary trouble we outline a few of the most common offences that residents may knowingly or unknowingly commit.
1. Camping & Trespassing
Camping is legal on public land under the Public Lands Act (2020 Revision). Camping on private property without permission from the owner is criminal trespassing. You may face a fine of up to CI$1,000 and imprisonment for one year if convicted (Penal Code, 2019 Revision).
Fireworks are illegal if they exceed a height of 200ft from the ground and are set off within three nautical miles of the airport (unless permitted by the Director-General of Civil Aviation). If you light fireworks to annoy or place others in danger you may face a fine of up to CI$2,000 (Penal Code, 2019).
Unless you are granted permission from the Department of Environment (DoE), bonfires are illegal. If you light a bonfire without permission you may be convicted of disorderly conduct or statutory nuisance. If convicted, you may incur a fine of up to CI$1,000 or six months imprisonment (Penal Code, 2019).
4. Flying Drones
Flying drones is completely legal, but there are many restrictions. For example, you cannot fly drones within three nautical miles of any airport or the Northward Prison (unless you have permission from both parties) or within 50 meters of any vessel or person.
Littering in Cayman is illegal under the Litter Act (1997 Revision). It is defined as ‘anything whatsoever’ ranging from dust and dirt to derelict vehicles. If charged you will face a fine of up to CI$500 or six months in prison (Penal Code, 2019).
6. Drink Driving & DUIs
Anyone caught driving, supervising a learner, or sitting behind the wheel (when parked) while over the legal alcohol limit (0.100%) commits an offence. Your first offence results in a fine of up to CI$1,000 or six months in prison (or both); second and third offenders receive a fine of up to CI$2,000 or one-year imprisonment (or both). You may also have your licence revoked for a minimum of 12 months.
Cannabis use is only permitted if you have a prescription from a medical doctor (Misuse of Drugs Act, 2017). Any person caught manufacturing it (or any derivative) or supplying it is subject to a fine of up to CI$10,000 and five years imprisonment. Upon indictment, you may incur further fines and up to 14 years imprisonment.
8. Fishing & Catch Limits
During lobster season (1st December-29th February), the daily limit is three lobsters per person (or six per boat). You may only catch spiny lobsters with tails longer than six inches. During conch season (1st November-30th April), the limit is five per person or 10 per boat, whichever is less. Catching echinoderms (such as urchins and starfish) is illegal. If convicted, you may face a fine of up to CI$500,000 and one-year imprisonment.
9. Marine Park Laws
There are very strict marine conservation laws. Please familiarise yourself with these laws.