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Thread: Legality of an open container on a boat

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default Legality of an open container on a boat

    There was a recent thread that commented on an open container on a boat, and how the rules are the same as on a boat. Another member commented that he drinks only when on the hook, which I think is common, but it also common while fishing. Is it true that the rules are the same on a boat as in a car? I believe that in a car you can be stopped with the ignition off, and still get an open container violation if the keys are in the ignition. I wonder if this is true in a boat? I don't know anyone that pulls the key(s) out of a boat at night on the hook. Also, what about people drinking while the boat is underway? Is this really illegal as it is in a car?
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    In Alaska a DUI can be given for any motorized vehicle, car, boat, atv, snowmachine, etc. No shortage of people who stop and have a beer while atving or snowmachining. I am not aware of an open container law in anything besides a car.

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    Good post. I would like to see the "legal" answer to this question. I believe the open container law applies to any motor vehicle including boats. As such. Even on the hook at night and no keys in the boat, you could still get an open container bust. Which is essentially the same penalties as a Dui. What really sucks is that if it is a passenger on board with the open container, its the operator that gets the bust. Sober or not. Open container or not. Many folks arent aware of that. Likewise the definition of an open container beyond the obvious. If have have a 12 pack of beer with a can missing. That is an open container. As is a 1/2 jug of whiskey with the seal cracked. Alot of troopers are great about using the intent of the law. But letter of the law, keep booze out of the drivers compartment!

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    Not by State law. The Coast Guard can dig more if they want to. If you have CG license you can have a BAC of .04 non licensed .08
    http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akst...Section029.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by MGH55 View Post
    Not by State law. The Coast Guard can dig more if they want to. If you have CG license you can have a BAC of .04 non licensed .08
    http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akst...Section029.htm
    True. But very few recreational boaters have a coast guard license. Likewise. I myself am a cdl driver. As are many folks. As the holder of a cdl even in your personal vehicle you are also subject to the .04 limits even off the clock!

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    The .04 goes for your boat too if you have a CDL even off the clock. The only time the CG will ask if you have a CDL is if you fail the attitude test

    Quote Originally Posted by theultrarider View Post
    True. But very few recreational boaters have a coast guard license. Likewise. I myself am a cdl driver. As are many folks. As the holder of a cdl even in your personal vehicle you are also subject to the .04 limits even off the clock!

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    I do not think having the keys in the ignition or not play a part any longer, if you are in the vehicle and you have the means to be mobile would apply. I knew a guy that was not even in his car but sitting next to it with the keys in his pocket and got a DUI. He had a CDL and that was suspended for one year as well. As for the CG I do not believe the CG really goes out of there way to find boaters with a open container out there unless they (the boater) are asking to get in trouble.

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    AS 28.35.029. Open Container.


    (a) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on a highway or vehicular way or area, when there is an open bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage in the passenger compartment of the vehicle, except as provided in (b) of this section.(b) Except as provided in AS 28.33.130 , a person may transport an open bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage
    (1) in the trunk of a motor vehicle;(2) on a motor driven cycle, or behind the last upright seat in a motor home, station wagon, hatchback, or similar trunkless vehicle, if the open bottle, can, or other receptacle is enclosed within another container;(3) behind a solid partition that separates the vehicle driver from the area normally occupied by passengers; or(4) if the open bottle, can, or other receptacle is in the possession of a passenger in a motor vehicle for which the owner receives direct monetary compensation and that has a capacity of 12 or more persons.(c) In this section
    (1) "alcoholic beverage" has the meaning given in AS 04.21.080 (b);(2) [Repealed, Sec. 29 ch 3 SLA 1992]. (3) "motor vehicle" means a vehicle for which a driver's license is required;(4) "open" includes having a broken seal;(5) "passenger compartment" means the area normally occupied by the driver and passengers and includes a utility or glove compartment accessible to the driver or a passenger while the motor vehicle is being operated.(d) A person who violates (a) of this section is guilty of an infraction.

    KEY WORD is Motor Vehicle. A boat is not.... So keys in the ignition don't matter at all. Being on the hook or drifting and fishing doesn't matter. It all matters once you pass that .08 BAC. See next post for that info.

    Also someone stated that say a 6 pack is missing one beer is considered an open container? No way, That is some crazy North Carolina crap where they will even get you for littering because one is missing even though you drank it at home and threw is in the trash.
    Last edited by Rob B; 05-01-2014 at 02:20. Reason: Added info
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    AS 28.35.030. Operating a Vehicle, Aircraft or Watercraft While Under the Influence of An Alcoholic Beverage, Inhalant, or Controlled Substance.

    (a) A person commits the crime of driving while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, inhalant, or controlled substance if the person operates or drives a motor vehicle or operates an aircraft or a watercraft
    (1) while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, intoxicating liquor, inhalant, or any controlled substance, singly or in combination; or(2) and if, as determined by a chemical test taken within four hours after the alleged operating or driving, there is 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood or 80 milligrams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or if there is 0.08 grams or more of alcohol per 210 liters of the person's breath.(b) Except as provided under (n) of this section, driving while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, inhalant, or controlled substance is a class A misdemeanor. Upon conviction,
    (1) the court shall impose a minimum sentence of imprisonment of
    (A) not less than 72 consecutive hours and a fine of not less than $1,500 if the person has not been previously convicted;(B) not less than 20 days and a fine of not less than $3,000 if the person has been previously convicted once;(C) not less than 60 days and a fine of not less than $4,000 if the person has been previously convicted twice and is not subject to punishment under (n) of this section;(D) not less than 120 days and a fine of not less than $5,000 if the person has been previously convicted three times and is not subject to punishment under (n) of this section;(E) not less than 240 days and a fine of not less than $6,000 if the person has been previously convicted four times and is not subject to punishment under (n) of this section;(F) not less than 360 days and a fine of not less than $7,000 if the person has been previously convicted more than four times and is not subject to punishment under (n) of this section;(2) the court may not
    (A) suspend execution of sentence or grant probation except on condition that the person
    (i) serve the minimum imprisonment under (1) of this subsection; and(ii) pay the minimum fine required under (1) of this subsection;(B) suspend imposition of sentence;(3) the court shall revoke the person's driver's license, privilege to drive, or privilege to obtain a license under AS 28.15.181 , and may order that the motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft that was used in commission of the offense be forfeited under AS 28.35.036 ; and(4) the court may order that the person, while incarcerated or as a condition of probation or parole, take a drug or combination of drugs intended to prevent the consumption of an alcoholic beverage; a condition of probation or parole imposed under this paragraph is in addition to any other condition authorized under another provision of law.(c) [Repealed, Sec. 34 ch 119 SLA 1990]. (d) Except as prohibited by federal law or regulation, every provider of treatment programs to which persons are ordered under this section shall supply the judge, prosecutor, defendant, and an agency involved in the defendant's treatment with information and reports concerning the defendant's past and present assessment, treatment, and progress. Information compiled under this subsection is confidential and may only be used in connection with court proceedings involving the defendant's treatment, including use by a court in sentencing a person convicted under this section, or by an officer of the court in preparing a presentence report for the use of the court in sentencing a person convicted under this section.(e) A person who is sentenced to imprisonment for 72 consecutive hours upon a first conviction under this section and who is not released from imprisonment after 72 hours may not bring an action against the state or a municipality or its agents, officers, or employees for damages resulting from the additional period of confinement if
    (1) the employee or employees who released the person exercised due care and, in releasing the person, followed the standard release procedures of the prison facility; and(2) the additional period of confinement did not exceed 12 hours.(f) [Repealed, Sec. 34 ch 119 SLA 1990]. (g) Notwithstanding (b) of this section, if the court imposes probation under AS 12.55.102 the court may reduce the fine required to be imposed under (b) of this section by the cost of the ignition interlock device.(h) The court shall order a person convicted under this section to satisfy the screening, evaluation, referral, and program requirements of an alcohol safety action program if such a program is available in the community where the person resides, or a private or public treatment facility approved by the Department of Health and Social Services, under AS 47.37 to make referrals for rehabilitative treatment or to provide rehabilitative treatment. If a person is convicted under (n) of this section, the court shall order the person to be evaluated as required by this subsection before the court imposes sentence for the offense.(i) A program of inpatient treatment may be required by the authorized agency under (h) of this section only if authorized in the judgment, and may not exceed the maximum term of inpatient treatment specified in the judgment. A person who has been referred for inpatient treatment under this subsection may make a written request to the sentencing court asking the court to review the referral. The request for review shall be made within seven days of the agency's referral, and shall specifically set out the grounds upon which the request for review is based. The court may order a hearing on the request for review.(j) If a person fails to satisfy the requirements of an authorized agency under (i) of this section, the court
    (1) may impose any portion of a suspended sentence; however, if the person was convicted under (n) of this section, the court shall impose a part or all of the remaining portion of any suspended sentence;(2) may punish the failure as contempt of the authority of the court under AS 09.50.010 or as a violation of a condition of probation; and(3) shall order the revocation or suspension of the person's driver's license, privilege to drive, and privilege to obtain a driver's license until the requirements are satisfied.(k) Imprisonment required under (b)(1)(A) of this section shall be served at a community residential center or, if a community residential center is not available, at another appropriate place determined by the commissioner of corrections. Imprisonment required under (b)(1)(B) - (F) of this section may be served at a community residential center or at a private residence if approved by the commissioner of corrections. Imprisonment served at a private residence must include electronic monitoring. The cost of imprisonment resulting from the sentence imposed under (b)(1) of this section shall be paid to the state by the person being sentenced provided, however, that the cost of imprisonment required to be paid under this subsection may not exceed $2,000. Upon the person's conviction, the court shall include the costs of imprisonment as a part of the judgment of conviction. Except for reimbursement from a permanent fund dividend as provided in this subsection, payment of the cost of imprisonment is not required if the court determines the person is indigent. For costs of imprisonment that are not paid by the person as required by this subsection, the state shall seek reimbursement from the person's permanent fund dividend as provided under AS 43.23.065 . While at the community residential center or other appropriate place, a person sentenced under (b)(1)(A) of this section shall perform at least 24 hours of community service work. A person sentenced under (b)(1)(B) of this section shall perform at least 160 hours of community service work, as required by the director of the community residential center or other appropriate place, or as required by the commissioner of corrections if the sentence is being served at a private residence. In this subsection, "appropriate place" means a facility with 24-hour on-site staff supervision that is specifically adapted to provide a residence, and includes a correctional center, residential treatment facility, hospital, halfway house, group home, work farm, work camp, or other place that provides varying levels of restriction.(l) The commissioner of corrections shall determine and prescribe by regulation a uniform average cost of imprisonment for the purpose of determining the cost of imprisonment required to be paid under (k) of this section by a convicted person.(m) If the act for which a person is convicted under this section contributes to a motor vehicle accident, the court shall order the person to pay the reasonable cost of any emergency services that responded to the accident, if the convicted person or the convicted person's insurer has not already paid the cost of the emergency services. If payment is required under this subsection, the payment shall be made directly to the emergency service and shall be equal to the actual cost of responding to the accident or the previous year's annual average cost of responding to a motor vehicle accident, whichever is higher. In this subsection, "emergency service" includes a peace officer, fire department, ambulance service, emergency medical technician or emergency trauma technician.(n) A person is guilty of a class C felony if the person is convicted under (a) of this section and either has been previously convicted two or more times since January 1, 1996, and within the 10 years preceding the date of the present offense, or punishment under this subsection or under AS 28.35.032 (p) was previously imposed within the last 10 years. For purposes of determining minimum sentences based on previous convictions, the provisions of (t)(4) of this section apply. Upon conviction, the court
    (1) shall impose a fine of not less than $10,000 and a minimum sentence of imprisonment of not less than
    (A) 120 days if the person has been previously convicted twice;(B) 240 days if the person has been previously convicted three times;(C) 360 days if the person has been previously convicted four or more times;(2) may not
    (A) suspend execution of sentence or grant probation except on condition that the person
    (i) serve the minimum imprisonment under (1) of this subsection; and(ii) pay the minimum fine required under (1) of this subsection; or(B) suspend imposition of sentence;(3) shall permanently revoke the person's driver's license, privilege to drive, or privilege to obtain a license subject to restoration of the license under (o) of this section;(4) may order that the person, while incarcerated or as a condition of probation or parole, take a drug or combination of drugs, intended to prevent the consumption of an alcoholic beverage; a condition of probation or parole imposed under this paragraph is in addition to any other condition authorized under another provision of law;(5) shall order forfeiture under AS 28.35.036 of the vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft used in the commission of the offense, subject to remission under AS 28.35.037 ; and(6) shall order the department to revoke the registration for any vehicle registered by the department in the name of the person convicted under this subsection; if a person convicted under this subsection is a registered co-owner of a vehicle or is registered as a co-owner under a business name, the department shall reissue the vehicle registration and omit the name of the person convicted under this subsection.(o) Upon request, the department shall review a driver's license revocation imposed under (n)(3) of this section and may restore the driver's license if
    (1) the license has been revoked for a period of at least 10 years;(2) the person has not been convicted of a criminal offense since the license was revoked; and(3) the person provides proof of financial responsibility.(p) [Repealed, Sec. 7 Ch 56 SLA 2006].(q) For purposes of this section, the director of the division within the department responsible for administration of this section or a person designated by the director may request and receive criminal justice information available under AS 12.62. In this subsection, "criminal justice information" has the meaning given in AS 12.62.900 .(r) If a person is convicted under (a) of this section and it is determined by the trier of fact that, as determined by a chemical test taken within four hours after the offense was committed,
    (1) there was at least 0.16 percent by weight of alcohol in the person's blood but less than 0.24 percent by weight of alcohol in the person's blood or at least 160 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, but less than 240 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or when there was at least 0.16 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of the person's breath, but less than 0.24 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of the person's breath, the court shall require the person to use an ignition interlock device as provided in AS 12.55.102 for a minimum of six months after the person regains the privilege, including any limited privilege, to operate a motor vehicle;(2) there was 0.24 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood or 240 milligrams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or when there was 0.24 grams or more of alcohol per 210 liters of the person's breath, the court shall require the person to use an ignition interlock device as provided in AS 12.55.102 for a minimum of one year after the person regains the privilege, including any limited privilege, to operate a motor vehicle.(s) In a prosecution under (a) of this section, a person may introduce evidence on the amount of alcohol consumed before or after operating or driving the motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft to rebut or explain the results of a chemical test, but the consumption of alcohol before operating or driving may not be used as a defense that the chemical test did not measure the blood alcohol at the time of the operating or driving. Consumption of alcohol after operating or driving the motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft may be used to raise such a defense.(t) In this section,
    (1) "inhalant" has the meaning given to the phrase "hazardous volatile material or substance" in AS 47.37.270 ;(2) "operate an aircraft" means to navigate, pilot, or taxi an aircraft in the airspace over this state, or upon the land or water inside this state;(3) "operate a watercraft" means to navigate a vessel used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water for recreational or commercial purposes on all waters, fresh or salt, inland or coastal, inside the territorial limits or under the jurisdiction of the state;(4) "previously convicted" means having been convicted in this or another jurisdiction within the 15 years preceding the date of the present offense of any of the following offenses; however, convictions for any of these offenses, if arising out of a single transaction and a single arrest, are considered one previous conviction:
    (A) operating a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft in violation of this section or in violation of another law or ordinance with similar elements, except that the other law or ordinance may provide for a lower level of alcohol in the person's blood or breath than imposed under (a)(2) of this section;(B) refusal to submit to a chemical test in violation of AS 28.35.032 or in violation of another law or ordinance with similar elements; or(C) operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of AS 28.33.030 or in violation of another law or ordinance with similar elements, except that the other law or ordinance may provide for a lower level of alcohol in the person's blood or breath than imposed under AS 28.33.030 (a)(2).
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    Default Legality of an open container on a boat

    "Apparently you can get arrested for DUI while piloting a raft, as evidenced by a Juneau man who was apprehended for floating through Fairbanks, Alaska while intoxicated on Sunday night. According to Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Alaskan law states that driving under the influence includes such methods of transportation as motor vehicles, water craft, and airplanes. Consider this the next time you decide to drunkenly float across a body of water on an inflatable raft."
    Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/292232/raft...riEie9adq0I.99

    You got to watch out for the Boating While Intoxicated Law (BWI). Don't even have to have a motor.


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    Under the legislation, what is the definition of a water craft? That's the key right there.
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    One of my last year's guiding when they made all Kenai river guides take that 40 hour course to learn to net fish etc (big waste of my time btw) this question came up and the answer gives by both the trooper and the CG person there was that you can drink while on the water and operate a boat as long as your BAC was not over the legal limit. So then the question was asked "so I can head up the river pass a trooper raise my beer take a drink and keep on going?" the answer was yes but you would probably be checked...
    However that being said the captain of the boat can at no time be over the legal limit of. 08 because he is considered in command of the craft even if you are out somewhere on the hook. So even if you are on anchor the captain cannot be drunk

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    Default And State Law says....

    Lots of opinions being expressed but simply one must read State law regarding open container....
    pay attention to Subsection C3, and the offense is an infraction i.e. a fine $$, not a criminal offense, in no way does open container equate to a DUI as one person commented it did. Under STATE Law open container does not apply to in a boat, as a DL is not required to operate a boat. This being said, open container law is totally different than the Driving Under the Influence law with regards to boats, i.e. watercrafts.



    AS 28.35.029. Open Container.


    (a) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on a highway or vehicular way or area, when there is an open bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage in the passenger compartment of the vehicle, except as provided in (b) of this section.
    (b) Except as provided in AS 28.33.130 , a person may transport an open bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage (1) in the trunk of a motor vehicle; (2) on a motor driven cycle, or behind the last upright seat in a motor home, station wagon, hatchback, or similar trunkless vehicle, if the open bottle, can, or other receptacle is enclosed within another container; (3) behind a solid partition that separates the vehicle driver from the area normally occupied by passengers; or (4) if the open bottle, can, or other receptacle is in the possession of a passenger in a motor vehicle for which the owner receives direct monetary compensation and that has a capacity of 12 or more persons. (c) In this section (1) "alcoholic beverage" has the meaning given in AS 04.21.080 (b); (2) [Repealed, Sec. 29 ch 3 SLA 1992]. (3) "motor vehicle" means a vehicle for which a driver's license is required; (4) "open" includes having a broken seal; (5) "passenger compartment" means the area normally occupied by the driver and passengers and includes a utility or glove compartment accessible to the driver or a passenger while the motor vehicle is being operated. (d) A person who violates (a) of this section is guilty of an infraction.

    AS 28.33.130. Out of Service Orders.

    (a) A person may not operate a commercial motor vehicle or be on-duty (1) if, within the preceding four hours, the person (A) consumed or was under the influence of (i) an alcoholic beverage; (ii) a controlled substance not prescribed by a physician; or (iii) a controlled substance prescribed by a physician that might impair a person's ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle; or (B) had any measurable alcohol concentration within the blood or breath or any detectable presence of alcohol; (2) while in possession of an alcoholic beverage or a controlled substance not prescribed by a physician unless (A) the alcoholic beverage or controlled substance is manifested and documented as part of an authorized shipment of cargo; or (B) under AS 04, the alcoholic beverage may be legally served to passengers being carried for hire; (3) after being placed out of service for violation of a regulation adopted under AS 19.10.060 (c) or AS 28.05.011 ; or (4) with an invalid operator's or commercial operator's license. (b) An employer, or a peace officer, who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has violated (a) of this section, shall immediately give the person a written notice ordering the person out of service. If it is not possible to issue a written out of service order, a verbal order may be issued. An employer may not knowingly allow, require, permit, assign, or authorize a person to operate a commercial motor vehicle or be on-duty during a period in which (1) the person has been ordered out of service under this section; or (2) the person has violated (a) of this section, even if an out of service order has not been issued. (c) A person who is ordered out of service (1) may not operate a commercial motor vehicle or be on-duty for 24 hours following issuance of the out of service order; and (2) shall report that fact, in writing, (A) within 24 hours to the person's employer; and (B) within 30 days to the department if the person possesses a commercial motor vehicle license. (d) In this section, "on-duty" means the period of time in which a person is (1) required by the person's employer to be ready to immediately operate a commercial motor vehicle, including time spent waiting to be assigned to operate a commercial motor vehicle; (2) inspecting, servicing, or conditioning a commercial motor vehicle; (3) in or upon a commercial motor vehicle, except time spent resting in a sleeper berth; (4) loading or unloading, or supervising the loading or unloading of, a commercial motor vehicle, or giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded; (5) taking action, as required by state or federal law, following an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle; or (6) repairing or obtaining assistance for a disabled commercial motor vehicle.

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    So if not a commercial operation, such as my personal boat, who is the Captain? My wife and I can both operate the boat. Not that either of us get trashed on the boat bit it's an interesting discussion.

    I really doubt that sitting on the hook at 10 pm, seventy water miles from Whitter, in a little bay that I am likely to be boarded and checked. Matter of fact the only Coast Guard presence I have seen in PWS is a chopper and the Whitter auxillary guys.
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    Yes, to extend it a bit further, since there is no license required to operate a boat, when both you and the wife are trashed on the hook, I wonder if you could appoint one of the kids as captain. Thanks for all of the information supplied. It is more for philosophical discussion for me more than anything else. Beyond the law, the practical side of this issue is that I always want to be coherent on the boat, since you never know when things will go wrong on the boat and I want to be prepared to deal with them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    ...I always want to be coherent on the boat, since you never know when things will go wrong on the boat and I want to be prepared to deal with them.
    I'll agree with the above statement!
    According to statistics, 30% of boating fatalities involve alcohol, and it is the leading cause of night time boating mishaps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theultrarider View Post
    Good post. I would like to see the "legal" answer to this question. I believe the open container law applies to any motor vehicle including boats. As such. Even on the hook at night and no keys in the boat, you could still get an open container bust. Which is essentially the same penalties as a Dui. What really sucks is that if it is a passenger on board with the open container, its the operator that gets the bust. Sober or not. Open container or not. Many folks arent aware of that. Likewise the definition of an open container beyond the obvious. If have have a 12 pack of beer with a can missing. That is an open container. As is a 1/2 jug of whiskey with the seal cracked. Alot of troopers are great about using the intent of the law. But letter of the law, keep booze out of the drivers compartment!
    I don't know about all that. By the same logic, anyone camping in a motor home can never have a drink.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    So if not a commercial operation, such as my personal boat, who is the Captain? My wife and I can both operate the boat. Not that either of us get trashed on the boat bit it's an interesting discussion.

    I really doubt that sitting on the hook at 10 pm, seventy water miles from Whitter, in a little bay that I am likely to be boarded and checked. Matter of fact the only Coast Guard presence I have seen in PWS is a chopper and the Whitter auxillary guys.
    I've been boarded by the Troopers out in Cohchrane Bay.

  19. #19
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    I don't know about all that. By the same logic, anyone camping in a motor home can never have a drink.
    And by the sounds of the open container law any time I load my truck to go camping I am breaking the law. Half a bottle of crown in a bag inside our Excursion is illegal.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  20. #20
    Member Laker Taker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    I've been boarded by the Troopers out in Cohchrane Bay.
    Me too, they ran into the back of my swim step and put a dent in it.

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