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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A question to the board. Suppose I'm anchored for the night. I'm fishing and sucking suds do I have to worry about getting boarded and hasseled and thrown in the pokey? I like to chug a few cold ones and fish all night and it can be said I've enjoyed a few more than than some people. I'm enjoying my liberties, I was sober when I anchored.
I wonder if I'm the only one who does? Have you guys experienced a boarding when you've had a good night of fishing and suds?
Some might not wanna ask..but's it's a good question. Mucho boarding by different agencys. I would not have to worry about drug or guns or explosives.. except when I've had to many nachos'. I have all the required safety equipment and have passed previous boarding. Licences,etc.
This question is a asked with a grin, so those of you who find it offensive...lighted up. It's a good question for some.
I do not imbibe when children are on board..just others who fish and like to have cold ones.
Edit# Sorry about posting on this board..I was checking this board before launching this weekend and impulsively posted.
 

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Not a being a officer of the law,..... but i would guess it would come down to where you were anchored....for example...if you were on a mooring or tied to a doc...I don't think it would be a legal issue...but if you were on the hook and were found to be under the influence, I would say you may very well face BWI. I would think you would have to show, if boarded, you were legally sober while "on" the hook....because you may very well have to pull the hook and leave the area at any time (emergency situations, weather, current etc..).....unless there was a legal aged person (legal age to drive a boat) who could handle/take control of the boat.

JMI
 

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On the hook, check to make sure everything is right and tight, and get LOADED!!!

Realize, if something goes wrong, you still need to deal with it......Drunk or not.

Check, double check and tip 'em back.
 

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as long as you are absolutely not endagering any other boats/boaters until you sober up? .....go for it.
if you develop an emergency and your whole crew goes down with you? ....well, you all had the freedom to NOT.
 

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It's against the law to "operate" a boat while under the influence. I don't know off hand exactly what "operate" means in this context, and I'm not aware of any case law which defines "operate" in the case of a vessel. (The fact that I'm not aware of it doesn't mean it's not out there.)

In the case of a car, "operate" requires some "volitional movement" of the vehicle. In other words, it's not unlawful for a drunk guy to turn on the car and let it idle so he can warm up with the vehicle's heater. (I got a guy off the hook once in that situation.)

Anyway, my GUESS is that (as a practical matter) you would probably be o.k. assuming you are anchored up for the night in a safe anchorage, with the motor off. Having said that, if you were significantly impaired (e.g. loud, stumbling drunk, significantly slurring speech, etc), and a peace officer came across you, there'd be be an excellent chance that you'd be hooked up. It's a close call in my opinion. For example, when sitting at anchorage you are required to be "operating" the anchor light. You are expected to be monitoring conditions, etc. I think on balance I'd have to say that in the unlikely event a cop did run across you and you were tipsy enough for you condition to be apparent, you'd be in trouble.


Another thing that comes to mind which tends to argue in favor of arrest is that rules of Maritime law require that you maintain an appropriate watch for conditions at all times. What that means will depend on the situation but there's no doubt that your duty to keep a clear head is higher on the ocean than it is while in a harbor.

All of the above pertains to whether you'd be criminally charged just for being found at anchor with a buzz. With respect to the civil side of things, and with respect to whether you'd be criminally charged if something happened, it's a no-brainer. If you are the master of the vessel and something bad happens while at sea, you had better not have any buzz or you can expect civil and criminal penalties.

I agree with Blackfish that you'd be fine while on a mooring or at the dock.


Bill
 

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I do not know if you can extrapolate from the case of a cruise ship captain or the case of a commercial pilot, however in each of these cases the impaired individual was arrested for being under the influence and in neither case was the vessel/airplane in â??operationâ??.

Last month, the captain of a docked Celebrity Cruise ship in Seattle was undergoing a pre-departure inspection by the Coast Guard. The CG found presumptive evidence that the captain was under the influence. He failed a breath test, was arrested and marched off in handcuffs. He was held overnight, released on bail, and the case is pending. A later blood test indicated his blood alcohol levels exceeded the allowed limits. He was fired from his position by the cruise line.

As you all know, there have been several cases of commercial pilots arriving for duty and when determined to have alcohol on their breath have been arrested, tried, and convicted. In none of these cases were the airplanes â??in operationâ?? i.e. the plane was still â??dockedâ?? at the gate.

Just food for thought.
 

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>the impaired individual was arrested
>for being under the influence and in neither case was the
>vessel/airplane in â??operationâ??.
>
>Last month, the captain of a docked Celebrity Cruise ship in
>Seattle was undergoing a pre-departure inspection by the Coast
>Guard.

I think that's more like a drunk airplane pilot who gets arrested at the gate. They don't wait until they guy is actually airborne.

Given that there is no legal requirement that an anchored boat have anyone onboard, my guess is that having a drunk on board isn't a problem.

Have fun,
Rick
 

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Use common sense and always becareful, having said that, I've also heard to remove the key from ignition.
I was told that if the keys were removed, that implicates that you were not operating nor intend to operate the vessel while impaired.

Thats what I was told.




John
"Bass Hole"
26' Striper WA

 
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