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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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Old 07-04-2011
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BWI(not the airport) question

Hey everyone. It's been a while since I've contributed anything, too busy sailing I guess!! It's been a great season for us so far except for the heat waves. Anyhoo....

We rafted up with some friends last night intending on hunkering down for the night on the hook when the topic of BWI's(boating while intoxicated) came up. I've done some research on the matter but have come to no conclusions when it comes to being at anchor with no intention of "operating" the boat for the rest of the evening. Personally I'm of the opinion to always remain coherent even when at anchor as things can change suddenly(like last night's thunderstorm) which will require your full attention. So my direct question is this:

If you are at anchor, out of the flow of marked channels, with the hook set for the evening, can you be arrested for a BWI in the state of Maryland? Thanks for any (sans opinion) knowledgeable responses. Hope everyone is having a great sailing season!!
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Old 07-04-2011
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Again I am with the old school. There is no justification to be intoxicated at all. One doesn't need to be drunk in order to have a good time. Moderation is the key of any thing in life.

I don't know if he or she should be arrested, but at least they should be held responsible to their action or inaction. My guiding principle in life - "Doing the right thing even when no one is watching". When consuming large amount of alcohol, someone will get hurt. It is just a matter of the time. I don't want to take this chance. But that is just me. I am just sayin'
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I am old school. Integrity is to do the right thing even when no one is watching.
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Old 07-04-2011
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Thanks Dawg. While I appreciate your post and value your opinion, I'm looking for specific answers here that cannot be found through an exhaustive web search. Does anyone know what the law in Md is regarding being at anchor and drinking alcohol??
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Old 07-04-2011
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technically you can drink while at anchor in MD, but you better not be impaired and the only one on the boat, intention or not. If you are the only one on the boat, no drinking.

Now reality sets in, and you, for example touch the wheel or tiller, and someone hits your boat...you can be sued for impaired operation...see the renown case in CA a year or two back..Cost to defend your few drinks could be hundreds of thousands.

LEO in Md will allow for a designated skipper, but he/she better be stone sober, not mouthy, aware and in control of ALL parties on the boat, else you will be cited.

YMMV, I am not an attorney.
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Old 07-04-2011
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I just spoke with a Lt. at the USCG station in Crisfield, MD. According to him, if you have your anchor out and are not in a marked channel, they will not arrest you for BWI in MD waterways. I want to be very clear here, I am in no way shape or form advocating, justifying, or endorsing drinking and boating. I am simply trying to find clear and quantifiable information that stemmed from a discussion I had the other night while in a raft up. The discussion peaked my curiosity and I'm the type of person that when that happens, I want an answer. I now have my answer but feel free to continue the discussion.
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Old 07-04-2011
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LLEO and MD resources police are the ones you need to be worried about..the CG generally know the law and are not going to "hassle" you...


If you are young, attitude, and etc...been there/done that...
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Old 07-04-2011
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What is LLEO btw? Not familiar with that acronym?
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Old 07-04-2011
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local law enforcement officers...they run the gamut, from security folks, state/local/and municipal officers, natural resources, marine police, fish and game, and in some parts of MD the fine folks from all the organizations of the DHS, not counting the USCG.

they each have their own idea of what the "law" is, have powers of arrest...and all can arrest you and have you "tell it to the judge".

Best of luck
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Old 07-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kd3pc View Post
l
they each have their own idea of what the "law" is, have powers of arrest...and all can arrest you and have you "tell it to the judge".

Therein lies the truth of the matter.
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