Join Date: Apr 2006
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Traditionally, watercops haven't cared about booze if a boat was "parked" and down for the night. More recently, BWI laws have become a big issue after too many accidents and fatalities, and BWI laws usually make no exception for being anchored, moored, or otherwise. They follow the same terms as any other "motor vehicle" booze law, i.e. if you are in a car and you are drunk--you'll be busted if the keys are also in the car. Anywhere in the car.
There are no federal BWI laws that I know of, but you'd have to check the NY/NJ ones to see what the USCG thinks they can do on the Hudson. Whether you are in a charted anchorage might also be a factor, boats have been run down by commercial traffic on the Hudson (especially at night) when they simply drop a hook, not realizing that commercial traffic sometimes NEEDS the entire width of the river.
Or, greet the nice young men with "Thank god you've come! I was having a peaceful drink in the pub, and when I woke up, here I was on this boat, I think I've been dragooned by mad sailors! Please, rescue me!"