I'm sure it varies state to state but what are the rules in regard to alcohol consumption on a boat? Specifically in the TN river if anyone knows.  Keep in mind I am not referring to operating the boat under the influence but merely enjoying s few barley pops while at anchor. We are anchoring out overnight memorial day weekend for a fireworks show and the marine patrol are thick then.

Dumb question I'm sure but I'm a small boat guy growing into the big one.     

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Bruce Harkness said:

Unexpected events can happen while on the water. Best to have at least one sober person on board. Even at anchor, things can get out of hand quickly.
Very true. I only had Two beers over a six hour period since the weather was weird and I knew we might have to make a run back to the marina. See my post on that adventure.

We have the same deal with Jet Ski's.  My $.02 we should not shoot at them unless they are moving.

Chris, just curious, what state do you live in? Here in Ma. every law enforcement division has the right to board you. Coast Guard,State Police, Environmental Police, Harbormasters, Local police marine units as long as you are in thier jurisdiction. The only ones with no powers of law are the Coast Guard Aux. You can say no to the rest but all they have to do is say they have a suspicion of OUI and bingo they can come aboard to conduct a sobriety check. Usually the jetskis draw the most attention followed by big boats leaving ugly wakes and speed speed boats going too fast for a particular area.

Chris Wickersham said:

At least in my area, law enforcement tends to hone in on jet skis, pontoon boats, and smaller fishing boats. They normally leave the big guys alone. That and the coasties are the only ones with the right to board whenever they want, and they almost never do. The state law enforcement that is overly aggressive are the same ones who need your permission to come aboard, which I deny as a rule, because duh.

When they ask why I say that's exactly what I'd tell one of my clients to do. Got some reasonable and articulable suspicion that I've committed a crime? Then let's hear it, otherwise move along.

If you experience an CG Aux Patrol going from promoting public safety to attempting to enforce it, you should notify the cognizant Sector Commander under whose direction they operate. Its not the AuxPat's job to intrude or harass, and they get significant training to that end. The CO's staff will investigate the incident and correct anything not in accordance with CG policy and legal limitations. Just know that the AuxPat are said Commander's eyes and ears anywhere the CG has jurisdiction on domestic waterways, and regardless of intimating/threatening legal action directly against Auxiliary volunteers, an active component Boarding Team may show up much sooner to make sure you have everything in order if the situation gets heated. If alcohol comes into question of safe operation, local law enforcement will often also show up - and the day/evening just goes downhill from there.

Cheers!



Timothy "Tim" Miller said:

In general, at anchor, off channel with proper anchor lighting, even our sometimes aggressive water patrol do not hassle boaters, stress proper, off channel and sometimes.  We do have some occasions with the Coast Guard wannabees (Aux) that think they have boarding privileges.  If challenged I have decided to ask for written ID so I can properly introduce them to my attorney, phone in hand, and this probably will help.  Some education occurred on the return from the Mecca Rendezvous, see issues of Styled in Fiberglass, could have been an interesting deviation on that episode.  Hard to be that quick at 2 AM.

WWYP

Kris, refer to the SIF2005 article .  The situation was a poorly informed/trained IL Trooper pointing her weapon at our boats anchored in open water demanding we come out with our hands up!  The local constabulary was wise enough to state he knew his jurisdiction ended at the water and he was leaving.

I know how to deal with the local CG lite depending on the helmsman or whatever they are designated, most are fine, one needs attention and not in a nice manner.

Tim



Kevin McKinnon said:

Chris, just curious, what state do you live in? Here in Ma. every law enforcement division has the right to board you. Coast Guard,State Police, Environmental Police, Harbormasters, Local police marine units as long as you are in thier jurisdiction. The only ones with no powers of law are the Coast Guard Aux. You can say no to the rest but all they have to do is say they have a suspicion of OUI and bingo they can come aboard to conduct a sobriety check. Usually the jetskis draw the most attention followed by big boats leaving ugly wakes and speed speed boats going too fast for a particular area.

Chris Wickersham said:

At least in my area, law enforcement tends to hone in on jet skis, pontoon boats, and smaller fishing boats. They normally leave the big guys alone. That and the coasties are the only ones with the right to board whenever they want, and they almost never do. The state law enforcement that is overly aggressive are the same ones who need your permission to come aboard, which I deny as a rule, because duh.

When they ask why I say that's exactly what I'd tell one of my clients to do. Got some reasonable and articulable suspicion that I've committed a crime? Then let's hear it, otherwise move along.

Florida.

No idea about MA, I don't practice law there. In Florida, only the coast guard can board your boat without a warrant or probable cause. State law enforcement needs your permission.

Yeah, that's kinda scary. Not everyone has the right temperament to be in law enforcement.


Timothy "Tim" Miller said:

Kris, refer to the SIF2005 article .  The situation was a poorly informed/trained IL Trooper pointing her weapon at our boats anchored in open water demanding we come out with our hands up!  The local constabulary was wise enough to state he knew his jurisdiction ended at the water and he was leaving.

I know how to deal with the local CG lite depending on the helmsman or whatever they are designated, most are fine, one needs attention and not in a nice manner.

Tim

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