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Old 20 July 2006, 07:42   #1
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Drinking and boating

I live in the Norfolk Broads. There is currently a lot of debate going on with the issue of drinking and boating. Currently there are no laws or regulations at all which govern drinking and driving a boat. There is a lot of pressure on the Broads Authority (the government organisation responsible with managing and policing the Broads) at the moment to make a new regulation similar to that which governs drivers of cars which states that they cannot be in charge of a boat whilst over the drink-drive limit.

Here are some arguments for and against the ban which I have heard:
How do you ban/penalize a drink/(boat)driver when you don't need a license to drive a boat?
A Broads’s cruiser traveling at 5mph cannot be compared to a car traveling at 70mph.
A drink ban will reduce numbers of people on the Broads further.
A ban will save lives.

My personal opinion is that people should be allowed to consume alcohol in moderation. I think the key issue that people are ignoring is that the main cause of death in Broads related accidents is drowning (as opposed to collision etc). There is a separate argument brewing, to make lifejackets mandatory on the Broads. I think the later is key to supposing the argument for not bringing in a drink/drive law - if people were wearing lifejackets and fell in the water after a pint or two they are much less likely to die than without.

The argument also fails to cover drinkers who are not actually in charge of boats. One of Norwich's biggest bar/club areas is next to the river. Around 10 people have drowned in the river here over the last 5 years as a result of coming out of clubs and bars absolutely plastered and falling in the river. A lifeboat has now been set up to patrol the area on Friday and Saturday nights. After the last England football match they pulled 9 people out of the water....

Based on this I think a drink/drive law would fail to protect the people it was designed to protect and that it misses the point slightly.

What are people’s opinions?
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Old 20 July 2006, 08:17   #2
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Why can't they just leave things alone? Has there been a large increase in people drowning all of a sudden?

The powers that be just can't leave things alone any more. Our local harbour have just put a barrier across a slipway - incase someone drives down it by mistake!!! Nobody has managed it in 60 years but they have to act!!!
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Old 20 July 2006, 08:23   #3
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People have always been drowning on the Broads. The key issue is that the role of the Authority is changing. There is some sort of consultation going on to see how the Broads Authority needs to adapt to mange the Broads as it "evolves". This involves changing some of the outdated regulations and bringing in some new ones. The local press seems to have joined the bandwagon for introducing the ban too which doesn’t help. A guy died two weeks ago on the river near me after he went sailing in a little Mirror dinghy after drinking 6 pints. He fell in and wasn’t able to swim back to the boat or to the shore. This is their latest “weapon” for introducing a ban. Of course, if he had been wearing a lifejacket he wouldn’t have drowned.
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Old 20 July 2006, 09:49   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim M
if people were wearing lifejackets and fell in the water after a pint or two they are much less likely to die than without.
Agreed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim M
One of Norwich's biggest bar/club areas is next to the river. Around 10 people have drowned in the river here over the last 5 years as a result of coming out of clubs and bars absolutely plastered and falling in the river.
Clearly the answer is compulsory lifejackets in riverside bars and clubs!
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Old 20 July 2006, 10:29   #5
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There was an article about drinking & boating in the Sunday Times last weekend. It appears that the government are minded to introduce some form of legislation...

Hopefully this link works:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...272149,00.html

Cheers ( )

Ian.
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Old 20 July 2006, 10:31   #6
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I don't have any sympathy for people who hurt themselves when they're pissed. I don't think anyone should protect me for my actions. However, there has to be some way to deter the idiots who injure others because of there disregard for a modicum of sense and safety.

Perhaps if a drink/drive law is introduced then it should have a more acceptable limit for alcohol than we do on the roads. Maybe 4 units being ok rather than 2. Problem I see is that it is the usual thin edge of the wedge and they'll just end up dropping it to 2 units after a while. Bloody nanny state!
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Old 20 July 2006, 11:27   #7
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Personally I don't care if there is a limit or not.

Whether its in my car or on my boat, the safety of my passengers and myself comes before having a drink and always will. Thats just common sense to me.

There are so many bullsh*t laws in this country, no wonder common sense seems to be on the decrease.
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Old 20 July 2006, 11:31   #8
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Originally Posted by Brambles
It appears that the government are minded to introduce some form of legislation...
"officials are unsure how to enforce new laws, because yachting is unlicensed in Britain"

You can see what's coming next!
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Old 20 July 2006, 11:45   #9
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If it doesn't cost any money then the Government will eventually implement it.
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Old 20 July 2006, 11:49   #10
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Send a message via MSN to Jon Brooks
I totally agree with Phil

But unlike us there are idiots out there that think they can drink all night in a bar then take their friends and family home in a powerboat, well actually any boat.
Clearly have no thought for their own safety or anyones elses.

Normally, like with drink driving in a car, it all goes the way of the pear they walk away with minor cuts yet the others with them either end up badly injured or worse!
Or they hit some poor bystander minding their own business!!

They could enforce it by removing their car licence if the drink and use a boat.
Make the limits the same as for car driving.

IMHO anyone who drinks and drives knows they are doing it, if they kill someone it should be a murder charge as its premeditated to drink and then drive some vehicle that can kill!

I also am in favour of life jackets being compusory, like in Ireland.

Please don't get me wrong I am not a kill joy and I love and enjoy having fun as much as the next man but I think some things could do with change for everyones safety.

Right will get off my soap box now!!

Regards
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