Originally Posted by Doug Stormforce
There is only a small number of isolated cases where death has occured. To police these proposed regulations would cost a fortune that would be paid by boaters in some new form of taxation.
Lets keep our freedom and keep officials out of our sport
"A small number of cases" - is one not enough? True, there will always be those willing to flout any laws, but that's no reason not to have the law in the first place.
Why is it an imposition on "freedom" not to be able to drive around p1ssed as a newt? We are used to this on the roads - or are you seriously arguing that having drink drive laws is an over-regulation?
EVERYBODY'S ability is impaired by alcohol. No exceptions - it's biological. We in merchant shipping are used to blood alcohol laws, and I've never heard any complaint about it. Why should the boating public be allowed to cause mayhem unchecked?
We're not just talking about people deliberately getting drunk and going to sea, but also the cumulative effects of alcohol - falling asleep on watch for example is very different to driving a boat into a crowd of people, but with consequences that could be just as dire.
I also don't see why a drink boating law would require taxation - many police forces have a marine presence, it would simply allow them and the Coastguard to do more than just be able to warn / attempt to educate the truly dangerous.
A national law would also do much to clear up the local variances and resultant confusion as to whether a port / harbour has byelaws in place anyway.
As I see it, it could work just as vehicle drink laws do - no random powers to stop and check, but routine breath tests after accidents, reported near misses etc, or seen by police to be driving erratically.
I'm all for the reduction of needless regulation (you ought to see the amount in commercial shipping these days) but can't really believe anyone is seriously arguing that "personal freedom" is jeopardised by not being allowed to drive whilst incapable?