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Old 07 August 2006, 16:38   #1
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Drunk in charge

I'm sure this has been covered before, I did a search but couldnt find what I was looking for. A friend of a friend, (honestly now that doesnt mean me!!) has a habit of going out and getting drunk to the point of being almost unable to stand and then attempting to pilot a very powerful and expensive speed boat back to the marina. Following the most recent episode he managed to tear his prop off on something (he said it fell off, I dont believe him) the passenger, also very drunk, called the coast guard on a mobile (no vhf) and he was subsequently towed by them back to a pontoon and then towed back to the marina by a friend that he managed to hold of. To the best of my knowledge there are no specific restrictions with regard to drinking and boating, however there must surely be a limit as to how reckless an individual can be, what is the limit and the maximum punishments?
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Old 07 August 2006, 16:59   #2
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Depends how many people you kill.

Personally I think there should be a drink/drive limit for watercraft in British Territorial Waters-with the penalty being the loss of your boat.
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Old 07 August 2006, 17:01   #3
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I agree entirely, this idiots boat is capable of 55mph, the consequences of that ploughing into just about anything at that speed dont bare thinking about.
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Old 07 August 2006, 17:04   #4
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Lets just hope it's hard and rocky, away from anyone else and he's solo at the time.

Stupid people unfortunately try very hard to prove Darwin was right about evolution.
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Old 07 August 2006, 17:06   #5
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Times article here
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Old 07 August 2006, 17:08   #6
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Lol, I have to entirely agree with you again.

Surely though there is some sort of penalty if you're a danger to others or just plain wasting the coast guards time.
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Old 07 August 2006, 17:12   #7
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Cheers Ribald, interesting and disturbing reading that.
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Old 07 August 2006, 17:13   #8
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Are there any clauses in ones insurance policies covering the state of any driver when envolved in a claim
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Old 07 August 2006, 18:39   #9
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If you get caught doing that in the US, even on the large lakes. It's go directly to jail and do not pass go. It is treated just like a car drunk driving offense in most States. Which, by the way, is a criminal offense, not a civil offense, not a misdemeanor or a small fine. Hand cuffs and iron bars, 30 days in prison is the result. Also, in Arizona , exceeding the speed limit on the road by 20mph, or more, is also a criminal offense, hand cuffs and iron bars again plus loss of license for 1 year. Had to pay by brief $3000 to get me off one unfortunate incident, and my blood test was only 30% of the legal limit. Judge tore the cop a new a/hole for wasting the courts time. Good for him, but cannot get my 3 grand back. T.
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Old 07 August 2006, 19:14   #10
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As told on my PB2:

DON'T BOOZE AND CRUISE

cheers TG!

This is far too common tho'
I was inspecting a damaged avon RIB than was run over on coes firework night by another boat (no one hurt), susupect the helmsman wasn't sober.
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Old 08 August 2006, 12:49   #11
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Originally Posted by Limey Linda
Also, in Arizona , exceeding the speed limit on the road by 20mph, or more, is also a criminal offense, hand cuffs and iron bars again plus loss of license for 1 year.
Really?

I remember a run back from Sedona to Phoenix; I was doing about 90 in a rental car (wouldn't go any faster - damned GM cars...), and people were going by me like I was parked.

Don't recall seeing anyone pulled over for anything.

In California, BUI (boating under the influence) is essentially the same as DUI: 0.08% blood alcohol level and you're done. The BUI goes on your drivers license (same as a DUI), and the penalties are, shall we say, pretty stiff. In short, nothing to screw around with.

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Old 08 August 2006, 21:32   #12
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If there are any of you folks from the 'constabulary' fraternity out there, feel free to correct me - but in the UK doesn't the offence of being 'drunk in charge of carriage' cover this one? A 'carriage' being any any vehicle adapted for use in transporting persons - but not one drawn by an animal eg a horse. My understanding is that in the definition 'any vehicle' can also include a boat ? - Heard it banded around on the inland waterways a few years ago.......

Can anyone clarify ?
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Old 10 August 2006, 14:49   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild
If there are any of you folks from the 'constabulary' fraternity out there, feel free to correct me - but in the UK doesn't the offence of being 'drunk in charge of carriage' cover this one? A 'carriage' being any any vehicle adapted for use in transporting persons - but not one drawn by an animal eg a horse. My understanding is that in the definition 'any vehicle' can also include a boat ? - Heard it banded around on the inland waterways a few years ago.......

Can anyone clarify ?
I believe this is the case however the prosecution would need a good lawyer to make it stand in court. However you will find that most Harbour Authorities will have a ByLaw with regards to Drink Driving. I know we certainly do...
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Old 10 August 2006, 15:37   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild
If there are any of you folks from the 'constabulary' fraternity out there, feel free to correct me - but in the UK doesn't the offence of being 'drunk in charge of carriage' cover this one? A 'carriage' being any any vehicle adapted for use in transporting persons - but not one drawn by an animal eg a horse. My understanding is that in the definition 'any vehicle' can also include a boat ? - Heard it banded around on the inland waterways a few years ago.......

Can anyone clarify ?
true, but you need to add "on the Highway or any public place" excludes on the water I believe.
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Old 17 August 2006, 17:47   #15
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Someone was actually arrested in Abersoch about a month ago for this, 'Drunk in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle' was the charge - not to sure was this person actually got tho
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Old 17 August 2006, 20:56   #16
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As already said, here in the US drinking and boating is the same as drinking and driving. Goes right on your driving record. First offense is a misdomeanor, second or third(depending on state and severity) is a felony! One of my friends got busted by undercover Chicago police officers posing as fisherman. It is very, very strict out here. This is why we always have a sober captain no matter how drunk everyone is. I am pretty surprised things are so easy going in the UK especially considering that your drunk driving laws are so stiff.
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Old 18 August 2006, 02:07   #17
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There is not, never has been, or never will be any excuse for being incapable either through drink or drugs when being in charge, or helming, any kind of boat.

I make it a condition of employment that none of my staff drink AT ALL when either on, or are about to come, on duty. No-one has ever had a problem with that.

I just can't understand the RYA's viewpoint on this that laws are not desirable - its one of the areas they really let themselves down in.

Plus, of course, being selfish anyone causing an accident whilst drunk is likely to find the coroner ups the resultant finding from accidental death to manslaughter.

But then I can't understand the RYA's idiot view that boaters should not be licensed either!

(Well, I can understand where it comes from, but I challenge anyone to come through the Solent on a laden tanker on a busy day, watch the boating public, and still believe a "driving licence" is not a flaming good idea)...

Rant over !!
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Old 18 August 2006, 03:26   #18
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I agree that drink helming is not a good thing however I very strongly disagree with pretty much everything else that has been said on this thread.

Why boaters are keen to have more regulations and policing placed upon them I do not know.

Has the governement regulated our lives so much that we are now asking for more regulations.

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
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Old 18 August 2006, 04:39   #19
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Here here Doug - one of the few pleasures left that isn't totally over regulated. Surely common sense should still account for something?!
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Old 18 August 2006, 04:58   #20
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Quote:
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
Doug,

"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?

Simon
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