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  #21  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
In Canada, at anchor, you are under no legal obligation to open the hatch if a cop comes. A friend was arrested by mounties for impaired driving while sitting in a restaurant, because she ' might drive." Several subsequent severe beatings by mounties were given ,to dicourage her from pleading not guilty.
Uhm... show me the regs, brent, because my understanding of canadian coastie policy is a boarding is a boarding, whether it is for a light check, a gear check, or a straw-blow. Sure, you don't have to "open the hatch" you just have to accept that you may be impounded, towed, or otherwise detained, since a failure to allow boarding is an offense in and of itself that also is probable cause for a warrant to be issued.
A drunk friend in a bar arrsted by the RCMP and a boarding of a boat by state cops or coast guard or game wardens are apples and oranges, brent, as you should know, being a lifelong liveaboard.
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  #22  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

Here in Connecticut, moored, anchored or docked vessels are not being 'operated'. Here's a snip from the CT Statutes Sec. 15-133, Rules for safe operation:

(d) No person shall operate a vessel: (1) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both, or (2) while such person has an elevated blood alcohol content. For the purposes of this section and sections 15-140l and 15-140n, "elevated blood alcohol content" means: (A) A ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is eight-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or (B) if such person is under twenty-one years of age, a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is two-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight. For the purposes of this section and sections 15-132a, 15-140l, 15-140n, 15-140o and 15-140q, "operate" means that the vessel is underway or aground and not moored, anchored or docked.

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  #23  
Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

I am not a lawyer, but in CA, at least for road vehicles, a DUI requires (among other things) that the operator both cause the vehicle to move, and that the vehicle does move. They always say 'however slightly' although I don't know if this is statutory or jurisprudence. The boat definitely moves at anchor, but it seems most likely that the operator (if there is one) is not actually causing the boat to move, from a legal standpoint.

As a practical matter, the state law always seems interested in who is at the wheel or tiller, and my understanding is that no one else matters in the slightest, even if they say they're the "captain" or anything similar.

On the other hand, I've heard stories of crappy cops who give people a hard time about stuff even though it's probably not actually illegal. So the best thing might be to just ask cops in the relevant jurisdiction (by anonymous telephone call) whether they would have a problem with this.
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Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

Pretty good examples of how these laws vary by state and country. Know your own.
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  #25  
Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

What a coincidence, I was just having a conversation on this topic with my local harbormaster last night at the pub. In RI at anchor you are not considered to be "operating" a vessel.
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Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
In Canada, at anchor, you are under no legal obligation to open the hatch if a cop comes. A friend was arrested by mounties for impaired driving while sitting in a restaurant, because she ' might drive." Several subsequent severe beatings by mounties were given ,to dicourage her from pleading not guilty.
Can't comment about your specific example Brent, but in Canada you can drink while at anchor, as long as you meet these criteria:

Transport Canada Regs

Consumption of Alcohol

In most provinces: Alcohol may be consumed on board the pleasure craft only if it meets all of the following conditions:
  • The vessel has permanent sleeping facilities
  • The vessel has permanent cooking facilities
  • The vessel has a permanent toilet
  • The vessel is anchored or secured alongside a dock
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Last edited by MikeOReilly; 06-27-2013 at 09:46 AM.
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  #27  
Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

I think you guys are being short sited and while I know the world drinks, I don't, it doesn't seem prudent while on a boat. Any number things could happen that could require quick thinking and fast action and being 3 sheets to the wind just may cost you your life. In my opinion, and it's only that, at anchor should be just like operating the boat. Since some immediate action could take place at any moment.

Remember in some states you can be arrested for public drunkenness and I sure being on your boat is public drunkenness.

Keep this in mind, this is a litigious society. CG/Cops approach your boat and your drunk, but at anchor and they say be careful and do not operate the boat or you will be arrested. An hour later you fall overboard, hit your head and drown. Your family will be suing the CG/Cops before you are even in the ground saying "how could you leave a drunk man on a boat"...
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Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

Hey! I got an awnser from the state in under 24 hrs after I asked them the question (the CA Dept of Boating and Waterways)


Mr. McColly



You must be underway and operating a vessel to be charged with BUI. If you are anchored, moored or tied up at a marina you cannot be charged with BUI.



Sincerely



Associate Boating Administrator

Enforcement Unit
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Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

There's an interesting undercurrent that runs through this and other threads on this topic -- distrust of law enforcement.

Most people on this board are law abiding citizens who've never committed a serious crime. Yet many posters are leery of law enforcement.

This was not always the case. I grew up in a town where I knew all the cops. When I got a little older I'd gone to school with a lot of them and occasionally watched football with a bunch of them. But I've noticed a VERY different attitude among younger cops and even the older guys seem more insulated. The times I've brushed up against law enforcement recently have left me feeling distrustful as well.

Unwarranted harassment doesn't seem to be a rare story anymore, whether it's the potty police in Florida, harassment on the Hudson or running a gauntlet of traffic cops on the drive to your boat.

It used to only be people on the fringes distrusted the police. How did this become acceptable behavior?
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Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Are you sure that the Jones Act also bans alcohol on US flagged ships? (never heard of that one before). The USN is in fact, dry. Trivia Question: Does anyone here know when alcohol was banned on USN ships? Who banned it? And what American slang was the result of it?
I'm interested in the answer to the trivia question.
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