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Thread: No beer in rafts?

  1. #1
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    Default No beer in rafts?

    Fairbanks troopers issued 31 $110 fines over the weekend for rafters floating though town without life vests. In the article in the newspaper the troopers said they were going to start issuing DUI's to rafters as well. According to their interpretation anything from an inner tube to an air mattress is a "vessel" and you will be arrested for operating under the influence.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    May be a fight, but according to the text -

    <H2>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.
    </H2>
    (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;



    I imagine being charged for DUI on a raft or air mattress would be pretty hard to prosecute. I forsee a verbage change coming up soon if this issue is pressed.
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    This is good stuff. Haven't read the article so I'm only going off what has been posted so far. Also, I'll preface with the disclosure that I was a police officer in this state for 4.5 years.

    In order to even make a "traffic" stop or detain someone an officer has to at a minimum be able to articulate a reason, this is usually accomplished by observing a violation/crime of some sort, which is commonly referred to a "Probable Cause." I'm not a law professor so I don't want to get into "reasonable suspsicion" or the "Terry stop and frisk" look 'em up if you're interested. Anyway, I'm hypothetically floating down the river, in an inner tube with all of the safety requirements and identification required by local, state, and federal law. Unless I'm violating some law/ordinance, the cops will have no "reason" to stop/detain me and thus would never know if I'm intoxicated or not.

    Does the open container law apply to inner tubes on a river. Does the city that your floating through have a "No open container" law. Now, if you're supposed to have a life vest as a matter of ordinance or law and you don't and you get "stopped" and from there the officer can articulate and you demonstrate intoxication or impairment then if the definition of "vessel" means an inner tube you're up or down the creek without a paddle. My advice would be to not draw attention to yourself or give the officer a reason to contact you.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Ok I am going to ask a dumb question here but do you have to actually wear the pfd when in a raft? I always thought you had to have them available for each person.

    I know I floated the Chena with no pfd once upon a time.

  5. #5
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    First of all, I do believe we should all wear our Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs). I know that skinney water makes us think we can't possible respirate water (as in drown dead). But we should wear 'em anyhooooooo. Even on the warm and hot days, when it bothers me the most. Again, anyhoooooooooooooo.

    I can't imagine that we can not have a beer or two with lunch on those same warm-hot days. I can't personally imagine becoming so intoxicated while rafting that I would draw any attention to my boat. Really.

    Above....AKMud-- I agree, hard to prosecute. But I would rather not be the test case.
    Above ...1S1K-- Great information, all of it, based on your experience. (What does your forum name mean?)
    Above...Broncof--Commercial Rafting-Insurance Liability Policies all require everybody in the raft to be wearing their PFD.
    ......Recreational Rafting-- Requires a PFD be available for everybody in the boat. Actually wearing the PFD is optional for those over the age of 14.
    OK, I simply remember hearing that someplace somewhere. In my rafts everybody, both during the commercial float hunting trips as well as the recreational trips, everybody wears a PFD. Because when bad "stuff" happens, it happens fast.
    Perhaps another forum member will be able to quote some laws for us.
    But let us all keep in mind that it is extremely hard to sink under water when wearing a properly fitted PFD, usually, most of the time, in my observations and experiences. Observations and experiences of others on this forum seem to occasionally vary based on their experiences, time of day/night, and level of alcohol intoxication.....

    dennis

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1S1K View Post
    Anyway, I'm hypothetically floating down the river, in an inner tube with all of the safety requirements and identification required by local, state, and federal law.
    A bit of a hijack, but just wondering about the identifcation part, I have always wondered if identification is required if you are not operating a motorized vehicle of some sort, as in floating, canoeing, walking, riding a bicycle? I often leave my wallet at home or in the truck if floating and the possibility of "getting wet" exists. Never has come up............yet
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
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  7. #7
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    In short, no. If you do not want to be bothered just ask the officer if you are being detained. From that point on there is no gray area. He either has to have probably cause to cite you for a crime or you are free to go, but here is the full scoop from wikipedia.

    Obligation to identify


    As of February 2011, there is no U.S. federal law requiring that an individual identify herself during a Terry stop, but Hiibel held that states may enact such laws,[20] and 24 states have done so.[21] The opinion in Hiibel implied that persons detained by police in jurisdictions with “stop and identify” laws listed are obligated to identify themselves,[22] and that persons detained in other jurisdictions are not.[23] The issue may not be that simple, however, for several reasons:

    • The wording of “stop and identify” laws varies considerably from state to state.
    • Noncompliance with a “stop and identify” law that does not explicitly impose a penalty may constitute violation of another law, such as one to the effect of “resisting, obstructing, or delaying a peace officer”.
    • State courts have made varying interpretations of both “stop and identify” and “obstructing” laws.

    Variations in “stop and identify” laws


    • Four states’ laws (Arizona, Indiana, Nevada, and Ohio) explicitly impose an obligation to provide identifying information.
    • Fifteen states grant police authority to ask questions, with varying wording, but do not explicitly impose an obligation to respond:


    • In Montana, police “may request” identifying information;
    • In 13 states (Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Wisconsin), police “may demand” identifying information;
    • In Colorado, police “may require” identifying information of a person.


    • Identifying information varies, but typically includes


    • Name, address, and an explanation of the person’s actions;
    • In some cases it also includes the person’s intended destination, the person’s date of birth (Indiana and Ohio), or written identification if available (Colorado).
    • Arizona’s law, apparently written specifically to codify the holding in Hiibel, requires a person’s “true full name”.
    • Nevada’s law, which requires a person to “identify himself or herself”, apparently requires only that the person state his or her name.


    • In five states (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island), failure to identify oneself is one factor to be considered in a decision to arrest. In all but Rhode Island, the consideration arises in the context of loitering or prowling.
    • Six states (Arizona, Florida, Indiana, New Mexico, Ohio, and Vermont) explicitly impose a criminal penalty for noncompliance with the obligation to identify oneself.

    As of February 2011, the validity of a law requiring that a person detained provide anything more than state her name has not come before the U.S. Supreme Court.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    Above ...1S1K-- Great information, all of it, based on your experience. (What does your forum name mean?)
    1 Shot 1 Kill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    A bit of a hijack, but just wondering about the identifcation part, I have always wondered if identification is required if you are not operating a motorized vehicle of some sort, as in floating, canoeing, walking, riding a bicycle? I often leave my wallet at home or in the truck if floating and the possibility of "getting wet" exists. Never has come up............yet
    I guess I was talking about "vessel" identification, to make a hypothetical situation where the floater is complying with any and all ordinances or laws. Hypothetical being the operative word there.

    I'm not an expert at this but if the "vessel" is not under power then I don't think it needs to be "registered." But I could be wrong about that. If you as a citizen are engaging in an activity that does not require any form of identification then you don't have to have any ID on your body.

  10. #10
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Registration is determined by boat length not propulsion. I may be wrong, but I think anything over 14 or 16' has to be registered including rafts.
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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I stand corrected, they did away with registration for "non-powered boats" in '04 - http://doa.alaska.gov/dmv/reg/boat.htm

    It also exempts air mattresses, inner tubes, and other water toys.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  12. #12

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    Back to the original thread.... i wonder what the legal definition of vessel is? Unfortunately all the attorneys at the round table had way too much time. the legal definition is:

    Every kind of water and air craft or other contrivance used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, or on water and in the air, as well as any ship, boat, barge, or other water craft or any structure capable of floating on the water. 18 USC


    So you can get a dui on an air mattress, just your life jacket, boat, raft, an oil rig, or even a log. Personally, I don't get drunk on the river. I will have one or two and will take my chance I suppose. I think it is wrong and should be changed.
    Or I'll just let someone else operate the raft!

  13. #13

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    You can still have beer on your raft, just the operator can not be intoxicated.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by overtime View Post
    You can still have beer on your raft, just the operator can not be intoxicated.
    Are you certain?
    Some cities have Open Container Laws. How is a creek running through town a bit different than a sidewalk or street?
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Lets make this more interesting....Federal water...AKA the Kenai Refuge.....I have drank many a beer while BSing with officers there....20-30 minutes chats....Even asked them do you want to see my fishing liscense.....They usually just laugh and respond with most people braking the law dont sit here and bs with us and enjoy a beverage....I always wondered if I could get a RWI Rowing while intoxicated
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    Can't speak to the Alaskan law, but here (Missouri) you can be arrested for BUI (Boating While Intoxicated). Counts same (legal ramifications) as DUI.
    How would they know & how can they enforce it .................................................. .......................
    Laws states that boaters can be stopped IF ALL BOATERS are stopped. ie- Sheriff, Police, Water Patrol, or Conservation Agent sets up a sobriety / license checkpoint (same as is done for motor vehicles) on a lake cove or river where ALL boaters are checked. Only differance between automobile and boat law is that the "open container law" does not apply to boat passengers- passengers can be absolutely sloshed ......... BUT DOES APPLY TO DRIVER.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    So I still don't understand how the rafters were fined for not wearing PFD's. Was it a commercial operation or individuals?

    Is there a law that states passengers in a commercial watercraft have to wear PFD's?

    Or were these all kids that are required by state law to wear a PFD?

  18. #18

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    In Alaska you are required to wear a pfd under a certain age ( i think its 14). All boaters are required to have a pfd for everyone on board.

  19. #19
    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    The whole point of this thread appears to be that you can get a DUI while floating down the river in an inner tube..............which is ridiculous. Nuproff sounds like Missouri has similar law to Alaska. This is about getting tagged with a DUI in a non powered boat. I’m not one for getting hammered floating down a river, but this nanny state carp is getting old. I cannot stand laws that that dictate what one does, when in fact there is no one (other than yourself) being (or could potentially be) hurt. Doing drugs, drinking and driving, punching a guy in the face all affect another person besides oneself. Unless you are under 18, things like the seatbelt law, drinking and floating, etc are crap. I wear my seatbelt, and so should you, but if you don’t the only person you hurt is yourself. Just my .02.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    So I still don't understand how the rafters were fined for not wearing PFD's. Was it a commercial operation or individuals?

    Is there a law that states passengers in a commercial watercraft have to wear PFD's?

    Or were these all kids that are required by state law to wear a PFD?
    I belive they were ticketed for not having a PFD with them (in/on the boat/vessle). The law requires that everyone HAS to have a PFD with them, but is only required to be wearing it if they are under the age of 14.

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