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Old 08-31-2015, 10:47 PM   #21
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Return from the dinghy dock in a motorized vessel, absolutely. Return in a non-motorized vessel, yes. (And yes, people do get DUI's on bicycles).

Now as to while anchored. First, I'm going to express a personal opinion on the wisdom of being the only operator and drunk while anchored. It sure doesn't put you in very good condition if an emergency came up that required you to operate the boat.

As to the legal side, it is my understanding in most areas that being anchored is still operating. I did see arrests and tows of anchored vessels on the lake when there was not a sober person left on the boat to operate it. Now generally there was not an assumption they were staying overnight.

While I feel they could legally ticket you with a DUI while anchored, I also feel it's highly unlikely anyone will and highly unlikely the ticket would hold up in court if fought. However, your anchor breaks free, you're slow to respond and you get the engine started but not in time to avoid hitting something. Now you have a DUI.

The logic in saying an anchored boat is operating is that it may have to and that reactions may be called for while anchored that could be impaired by an excessive amount of alcohol.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:26 AM   #22
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That thread on Cruisers and Sailing Forum was one that I quickly decided to avoid. Not sure how to put this but.... there are a higher number of "alternaitve thinkers" on that forum. I enjoy it and is a great source of info and help for a sailor like me, but there are a number of topics that get toxic in a hurry.

My own take is that if you aren't being stupid, you generally have little to fear from LEOs or the CG. Of course, I would define drinking to excess under any circumstances as stupid, so.....
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:03 AM   #23
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Unfortunate turn of phrase!
And not done by accident!
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:15 AM   #24
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We should keep an eye on this issue in Florida particularly as the anti-anchoring sentiment pervades much of law enforcement. What better way to promote that agenda than to hassle people for drinking at anchor?
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:38 AM   #25
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Reads more like a bunch of seagulls fighting over a french fry.

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Couldn't be more apropo with regard to that other forum and what a powerful mental image. I can see them, hear them and smell the salt air. Thanks for my morning chuckle Ted.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:59 AM   #26
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This is a very real issue here. When fireworks are planned LEOs tell some anchored or moored boats they must move. This usually happens just before dark after boats have been parked for a while.

So my question is do you tell the LEO you cant move the boat because you have been drinking ( call for a tow?) or just move it and risk the consequences.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:02 AM   #27
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We should keep an eye on this issue in Florida particularly as the anti-anchoring sentiment pervades much of law enforcement.
Really? I haven't seen that at all. I see a whole lot of speculation about what LEOs maybe COULD do, given the way the laws are worded, but none of this worry ever seems to play out in reality.

Now, there are clearly some waterfront home-owners with strong anti-anchoring sentiments, at least when they perceive it to be spoiling their view. But--perhaps with a couple of extremely isolated incidents--I have seen no evidence that such sentiment pervades law enforcement in any way.

As to the issue of BUI and getting a ticket while anchored... As I posted over in the other thread, I have searched high and low and have not been able to find even one, single incident of a Florida boater EVER getting a BUI ticket when they were legally anchored for the night. Not one. Not ever.

So it seems this is all just a tempest in a teapot. A whole lot of worry over absolutely nothing.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:05 AM   #28
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We should keep an eye on this issue in Florida particularly as the anti-anchoring sentiment pervades much of law enforcement. What better way to promote that agenda than to hassle people for drinking at anchor?

To reinforce that thought, A member of LEO commented on this topic in that other forum. His statement only confirms that if you are Moored IN an approved mooring field they don't pester anyone. But if you are anchored....Whether in an approved anchorage or not, You're fair game. This seems to fit it with the anecdotal evidence heard about land owners bitching about 'other people' intruding on their view, sound, front deck by anchoring. This has gained traction since the landowners pay taxes, and 'generally' the visiting yachters don't.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:07 AM   #29
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Not trying to throw this to OTDE material, but seriously, when I read that thread I was confused. Is there not a legal definition of being DUI, (which I worked out meant drunk in charge), over there..? Here on the other side of the world, we have a 0.05 legal level of blood alcohol - under that, either in a vehicle or boat, and you're good to go. At anchor for the night, one would never be breath tested anyway. Only learner and provisional licence drivers have a zero blood alcohol status for driving. I can't believe over there just having had a beer would put you in jeopardy..? Surely you get tested first..? For a country that does not enforce bike helmets, and even seat belts, in some states anyway, charging a boatie with being DUI for having a beer on board seems...well...weird.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:18 AM   #30
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Greetings,
Mr. PB. DUI/BUI= Driving/Boating Under (the) Influence. Yup, tempest in a teapot indeed.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:22 AM   #31
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It is kind of a ridiculous argument. We live in a very litigious society. If asked, no lawyer or LEO is going to risk liability. Of course he's going to tell you he'd arrest you. The repercussions are "Well I was told by <Joe Bagodonutz> that it was LEGAL.


It's like asking if it's still illegal to drive your farm truck drunk on your private property. Of course he's going to tell you it's DUI. We might as well debate the number of teeth in a horses mouth.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:58 AM   #32
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Wifey B: Omg the freaking conspiracy theories. We're not talking about anyone having been ticketed. We're talking about the response when LEO are asked the question, the legal definition. And as to mooring theory, mooring is considered like a dock. Moored you are not by definition "operating" a boat. Anchored you are. Anchored you are always considered to be in transit still. Docked and moored you're attached to a permanent (ok, semi permanent, sometimes more so that others) object.

If you're quietly anchored in a shallow cove removed from the seas you're not going to likely get a DUI. If you're anchored in Biscayne Bay on July 4, you may not but you probably should get one.

I get pretty fed up with the state of Florida being described as out to get you as boaters. It's the highest, overall most friendly, boating state there is. There are marinas, there are moorings and there are plenty of anchorages. We're surrounded by anchorages when home.

Lake Havasu rafting and partying. Same thing. They tolerate more crap than any place I know, but if you don't have one person sober to drive your boat, you will be ticketed. Now they don't come wildly looking. They come when they see obvious drunken behavior. They could haul half the people there off for public intoxication, but they don't. They do take action when there's a boat of 8 people and all of them are drunk, with no one to drive it.

Omg I feel like the granny looking down on the younger generation with this next comment too but it's actually the reverse. What is it with so many of the boaters that you feel every night or lots of nights you must get drunk? I see so many boat users who drink every night and do get intoxicated several times most weeks. That's a problem. You do realize now you're arguing over your right to get drunk? What? I don't know whether to laugh or scream. Really now, stay home if you feel you must get drunk.

And as to marinas, I have seen a couple of public intox arrests there. People making as...es of themselves disturbing others and putting themselves at danger of falling in. Boats really aren't good places to be drunk. Not like falling down in your front yard and laying there till morn. Fall down in your yard while anchored and you're old news fast.

So yeah I'm wound up over this. First over the conspiracy theory. Second over the picture trying to be presented that "Florida" hates boaters or anchorers. Third over the apparent fight for the right to get drunk on your boat.

None of this aimed at the OP as it was just a simple post about the laws. Ask a question, get an answer and the OP did. But then all the rest of this....whoa...whoa...whoa. And I'll add one thing to my rant. I don't like you out running your boat or car around me the next morning with a hangover either. You're not at that point legally intoxicated but you're also a heck of a long ways from 100% of your abilities to function.





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Old 09-01-2015, 11:03 AM   #33
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Here on the other side of the world, we have a 0.05 legal level of blood alcohol - under that, either in a vehicle or boat, and you're good to go. At anchor for the night, one would never be breath tested anyway. Only learner and provisional licence drivers have a zero blood alcohol status for driving. I can't believe over there just having had a beer would put you in jeopardy..? Surely you get tested first..?
Your alcohol restrictions are actually lower than ours. The lowest here is generally 0.08. A beer doesn't put one in jeopardy. But anyone bothered by this isn't talking about having "a beer" or even the infamous "two beers" that every DUI driver in history has told the officer. We're really talking about those who imbibe enough nightly to be legally intoxicated. As to helmet laws, I agree with you, although the states without helmet laws do have more available organ donors.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:09 AM   #34
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Not trying to throw this to OTDE material, but seriously, when I read that thread I was confused. Is there not a legal definition of being DUI, (which I worked out meant drunk in charge), over there..?
That is one of the dumb things about that thread. There is indeed a BAC level of .08 in most, if not all, of the US states. So an officer can't just arrest someone for being BUI unless the BAC is at or above .08. Just because an officer saw a person drinking a beer on the fly bridge of an anchored boat is not enough probable cause, much less reasonable suspicion, that the person was drunk.

The wackiness of that CF thread was that somehow the officer would actually see someone with a drink and immediately arrest for BUI. Quite a bit has to happen to get to any arrest, much less an arrest for BUI. Honestly, I have to come up with some really unlikely scenarios for a BUI arrest of someone on an anchored boat.

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Old 09-01-2015, 12:18 PM   #35
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When I first read the title to this thread I figured it had happened on Portland where Alaska SD is currently residing. I figured Tom threw this up there as part of the "Keep Portland Weird" theme.


That thread on Cruiser Forum was so full of BS it smelled like a barnyard.


The whole thing boils down to this--yes, maybe you could get a citation or arrest for BUI under the circumstances described but most LE officers (especially water cops I've known) would never even consider doing that because you are there for the night and they have better things to do.
GFC.... There is no way I would live in Portland! It is even too weird for me. But I am down river and catch their crap. It is said if we have a strong west wind, Portland is sucking the oxygen out of the AIR!

BUI is an interesting subject. I have seen a lot of boats operated dangerously because of the drinking. I think it is those the LEOs should focus on, not the boats at anchor (I think you could win this one in court).
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:31 PM   #36
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Hey Wifey B! Good post!
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:36 PM   #37
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The wackiness of that CF thread was that somehow the officer would actually see someone with a drink and immediately arrest for BUI.
That's part of "the wackiness." The other part is that the whole thing started because someone decided to ask a cop what was legal and what wasn't. Now, no offense to cops, but their job is not to know the nuances of every law ever written. They are not legal experts. Asking a cop what is legal and what isn't is just dumb. It's about as smart as asking the propane technician, who just fixed your oven, for a good cake recipe and imagining that he should know about such things!
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:45 PM   #38
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I don't know what your talking about, when the officer was on my boat it was hard aground and was therefor incapable of being underway or being operated, just as if it was sunk. Can you get in trouble for being on a sunken boat while under the influence??

The anchor? Oh it was just saving my place for the next day.
That was the Exxon Valdez Captain's excuse also.

When all the noise died down, that turned out to be the case.
He drank after he realized he ran his ship aground.
I would too.
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:14 PM   #39
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Wifey B: An update. I've been looking for something that would separate mooring and anchoring. Not found yet. Also looking for definitions of BUI. States say "operating" but don't define that. North Dakota is the first I've found that says "The motorboat or vessel must be operated, in motion, enroute but not aground or at anchor."

I stick with my rant on over consumption but I haven't yet found anything that supports anchoring or mooring being considered operating or not, other than North Dakota. Sounds like a legal interpretation to me and they're always fights.

Again we're discussing something none of us are aware of ever happening and talking like LEO's are going wild enforcing it.
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:32 PM   #40
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Reminds me of returning from the Abacos in 2003. That was just after they instigated the really stupid check in requirements (e.g. needing to get to the INS office in a nearby airport after coming in) - totally ridiculous for boaters.

Well I went onto the Homeland Security web site and looked at the rule for checking in and it clearly stated that you must phone the nearest INS office and arrange a check in the first time you dock after arriving in US waters. We got back through Fort Pierce on Saturday, anchored at Cocoa Beach that night, and then continued on to our slip in Jacksonville Sunday. I then called the INS office in Jax and got a recording. I told them I had arrived back and would call the next day for an appointment.
When I called on Monday the INS guy was apoplectic that I hadn't checked in at Fort Pierce. I calmly told him that I had not docked until I got to Jacksonville, just anchored. That I was following what was on their web site! Got an appointment and drove my own car up the road on Monday!

Anchoring ain't docking in any man's book!
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