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Thread: Boating under influence law?

  1. #1
    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Default Boating under influence law?

    If your anchored up for the night and sleeping on the boat can you get a BUI. or BWI.

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    I was almost on the jury of a chick who got a DUI for sleeping in her car in the bar parking lot with it running "to stay warm" in the middle of winter while waiting for a ride supposedly. Cops argued that any time you are in control of a vehicle you can get a DUI. This exact question came to my mind, and by the trooper's interpretation, a DUI would be forthcoming if you are the person in control of the boat while it is at anchor.

    I thankfully didn't make the cut to be on the jury, but I heard the girl got acquitted. So yes, you might get a ticket, but your odds of beating it are probably pretty good.

    This might be a good question for the "ask the troopers" section? Perhaps there is a better explanation...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnum Man View Post
    If your anchored up for the night and sleeping on the boat can you get a BUI. or BWI.
    Dingy to shore and hang your boat keys on a tree branch, then proceed

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I've never heard of campers in an RV ever getting a DUI while set up for camping. It could be argued that be at anchor and set up for sleeping would be the same thing.
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    Yes and no.

    NO, if you're a recreational boat. Technically you are not "operating" it if you are anchored. That being said, if your drunk and anchored in a place you shouldn't be, you COULD get charged with BUI if your forced to move to another anchorage...

    YES, if you're a passenger or charter vessel. If carrying passengers for hire, the master cannot be intoxicated at all.

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    If my boat was anchored and I wasn't planning on going anywhere, I would feel it would be just like my home. You ain't coming in without an invite. What I do in my home is my business and no one else's. "Shove off!"
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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    If my boat was anchored and I wasn't planning on going anywhere, I would feel it would be just like my home. You ain't coming in without an invite. What I do in my home is my business and no one else's. "Shove off!"
    Maritime law states otherwise,FYI.
    http://www.uscg.mil/INTERNATIONAL/af...lish/Chap3.htm
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    These kinds of things strike a nerve with me. My step dad is a Judge and my good friend used to be a state prosecutor. Both of them have told me stories about troopers making a mountain out of a mole hill. So my best ideas to share on this posting (and it relates to the parked running car). When anchored up, take the keys out of the ignition. For the parked running car sit in the passenger seat.

    The USCG and Troopers have been walking a fine line for years with reasonable cause to pull over and board and search boaters. They do it under the guise of a safety inspection, and they do it by asking permission and they use their position of power in a way that makes you think there are consequences if you say no. Lets examine that if we were talking about a sexual harassment case and the outcome is totally different. So there must be consent on your part. And they ask it very informally, but in their minds and on their recordings they are asking, not ordering.

    I am also not a fan of having to keep a copy of your registration on board when you have your decal and AK numbers in plain view on the bow.

    So if you want to bypass an at sea boarding you can get a dockside annual safety inspection and they can give you a giant decal (and you can point to that) or they give you a copy of your boarding and if you pass then you just waive that when the Troopers/USCG boat up to you. You can also just be prepared for the interaction and hold up the proper piece of life saving equipment per each person and an additional throwable. I say proper because some PFDs only count if you are wearing them.

    I also have a father inlaw who is on the Alaska Boating Safety Council and most of Alaska's boating fatalities involve alcohol and drowning then children drowning, so anchored up and not motoring but drinking on the deck with no PFD is the concern, but for adults that isn't against the law.

    I can't say that I have heard of that many boardings outside of the hours of 8am-5pm either though (govt workers) so...

    Sobie2

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    I don't think removing the keys does anything to make it legal, either in a Car or boat. People get in trouble with vehicles where keys are in posession but not necessarily in the ignition. I don't know the details as I am not a lawyer or a cop. Seems its a call on the officers part and your interaction and attitude that might determine the outcome of a simple license check.
    Maybe Akmud can add some insight to the topic?!
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    I know plenty of guys who get boarded multiple times even with the CG safety stickers. One guy got checked 3 times in one week !! The sticker doesn't mean poop ! they have to make quotas of boardings per day/week. I had guys on my little 29' gillnet rig ask me if i was going offshore a 100 miles offshore to go dragging ?? Most of them don't have a clue whats going on just whats in the book they look at.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Maritime law states otherwise,FYI.
    http://www.uscg.mil/INTERNATIONAL/af...lish/Chap3.htm
    Bk
    I reckon this is the section you are referring to, so how much access does "may go aboard" grant the USCG? It appears it does not allow them a search as long as you can provide docs and pass the safety inspection, no rights are granted to search beyond that, however if there was another visible violation I suspect that would be dealt with accordingly....

    "THE U.S. COAST GUARD
    The U.S. Coast Guard is authorized to enforce, or assist in the enforcement of, all U.S. Federal laws applicable on, over, and under the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. These include laws which provide for the U.S. Coast Guard to exclusively act, and those which the Coast Guard enforces primarily for some other Federal agency. Generally, the Coast Guard must determine on a case-by-case basis whether it has jurisdiction. Besides determining whether it has the domestic authority to assert jurisdiction, it often must also determine whether an assertion of jurisdiction is consistent with international law. In many cases involving a foreign vessel, the Coast Guard decides whether it has jurisdiction over the vessel and its personnel based on three elements: the activities of the vessel and personnel, the location of the vessel, and the nationality of the vessel.
    Two notes are warranted here. The first relates to the phrase "waters subject to United States jurisdiction." This phrase encompasses more than United States territorial waters; it also extends to those waters where the United States, pursuant to an agreement with a foreign government, has been authorized to take law enforcement action involving United States or foreign vessels. Such waters could, and in actual practice do, include foreign territorial waters.

    The second point is that the Coast Guard may go aboard any United States vessel at any time, anywhere to conduct a documentation and safety inspection. A search of a U.S. vessel beyond this type of inspection is subject to limitations under the United States Constitution. If a search extends beyond this narrowly defined scope, a court may be asked to evaluate the legality of the search by balancing the individual’s right to privacy in the specific circumstances of the search against society’s interest in detecting criminal conduct."

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    http://touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/...Section030.htm

    See the definition of "operate a watercraft" towards the bottom.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akst...section100.htm

    See the definition of "operate" about half way down.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    State law doesn't define "actual physical control", but it has been addressed by the courts.

    Mezak v State

    http://law.justia.com/cases/alaska/c.../a-5078-1.html

    State v Conley

    http://law.justia.com/cases/alaska/s.../s-1791-1.html
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    while we're on the topic, there's this little gem. I seem to remember a number of people getting busted for DUI on rafts, tubes, etc. on the Chena for a period of time. I seem to remember years ago when I was in college that DUI involved a motor vehicle (no bicycles, canoes, etc.), that seems to have changed in the last 15+ years?

    http://www.adn.com/alaska-beat/artic...ks/2012/08/02/

    As has been mentioned, I wonder why we don't see a LOT of people with DUI in an RV that is parked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oakman View Post
    while we're on the topic, there's this little gem. I seem to remember a number of people getting busted for DUI on rafts, tubes, etc. on the Chena for a period of time. I seem to remember years ago when I was in college that DUI involved a motor vehicle (no bicycles, canoes, etc.), that seems to have changed in the last 15+ years?

    http://www.adn.com/alaska-beat/artic...ks/2012/08/02/

    As has been mentioned, I wonder why we don't see a LOT of people with DUI in an RV that is parked.
    Wasn't many years ago in Soldotna that a guy got a DUI ON A HORSE.
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    You can get a dui or dwi for just about anything. You are most defiantly a candidate on a bicycle.


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    I have spoken with several troopers on the car topic, they all agreed keys outside of the vehicle was acceptable. They suggested roof or under the wiper. I would assume the same on a boat would keep you safe. That way the keys are not in the cabin

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakman View Post
    while we're on the topic, there's this little gem. I seem to remember a number of people getting busted for DUI on rafts, tubes, etc. on the Chena for a period of time. I seem to remember years ago when I was in college that DUI involved a motor vehicle (no bicycles, canoes, etc.), that seems to have changed in the last 15+ years?

    http://www.adn.com/alaska-beat/artic...ks/2012/08/02/

    As has been mentioned, I wonder why we don't see a LOT of people with DUI in an RV that is parked.

    I wonder if this case ever went to court or was thrown out.
    I remember the story when it first came out and the guy was floating on an air mattress drunk.
    Certainly not a BUI/DUI anyway you look at it. Just Johnny Law being knobs!!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    Wasn't many years ago in Soldotna that a guy got a DUI ON A HORSE.
    He should have argued that the horse was in control!

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