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Old 09-05-2009
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BUI while Anchored

Are there places where you might get charged with BUI even if you are anchored for the night??
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Old 09-05-2009
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Could be. It depends.
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Old 09-05-2009
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Here on the Hudson river there is a little cove that many boats anchor in on the weekends. The story goes that a anchored boat was having a loud party. The Sheriffs boat came along side and asks to board to do a safety inspection. They are told no by a 20 something year old intoxicated male. The young man was charged with BUI but later plead guilty to Pubic intoxication.
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Old 09-06-2009
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Only the operator of the vessel can be sited for BUI. All others are in danger of being sited for Public Intoxication. The question is who is the operator of an anchored vessel? I had a sheriff's deputy board my boat in Florida after obtaining a ride on a Coast Guard r.i.b. He was informed by the C.G. that I was in compliance with the law after he had been told the same by those of us on board. We were polite in stating our case and we all spent the night right there on the boat , not jail. It's not a good idea to argue with "the man", but if you are compliant with the law, point it out in an appropriate manner. The "safety inspection" is a common means by law enforcement to gain access to your vessel. By all means comply but be dilligent in the containment of your empties. Keep in mind that if you anchor drags, someone will need to become the sober operator of the vessel
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Old 09-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xsboats View Post
Keep in mind that if you anchor drags, someone will need to become the sober operator of the vessel
An excellent point. Aside from dragging there are all sorts of reasons you might need to get underway quickly in the middle of the night. And even if you are the "designated sailor", do you really want to have a bunch of drunk friends stumbling around while you're dealing with whatever the emergency is? Personally, I don't think alcohol on board is worth the trouble. Only safe place to drink on the water is tied up in your slip.
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Old 09-06-2009
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BUI is really stupid. There should be at least two people on board not intoxicated--the operator of the vessel and at least one crew member. IMHOP--anyone who is BUI should be locked up.
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Old 09-06-2009
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Disclaimer: I'm not an attorney, nor do I play on TV...

I'm gonna guess that all other things being copacetic, being intoxicated on a boat at anchor is not illegal and therefore not liable to BUI.

Much will depend on how local LEO's define "operating a vessel" though. Does that mean underway? Engine running? Keys in the switch? I've heard many places will cite you for DUI even if you are parked, with the engine off, but the keys are in the ignition.

But, as others have said if you've done something to draw LEO attention to yourself or your vessel then I think it safe to assume that they will (among other things) be assessing whether or not you are impaired. If said attention is due to boat-on-boat contact, then it won't matter who was at fault -- the impaired boater(s) is/are probably looking at a tough time ahead.

All of the above notwithstanding, I'm also in the group who advise keeping a sharp and sober lookout at all times. Why take unnecessary chances? There are plenty of reasons that could force an unplanned departure from an anchorage. If you really want to have everyone aboard buzzed, find a marina and tie up -- not very likely to get cited for BUI there.

Last edited by PorFin; 09-06-2009 at 09:31 PM.
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