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Old 09-01-2015, 05:06 PM   #41
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I'm no lawyer but I do teach the col-regs. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't operating (or driving) a boat require that the boat be Underway under the rules? In other words----( NOT ANCHORED aground or made fast to the ground )? Now if you are misbehaving in any number of other ways game on but the way I see it you are not operating. Any LEO who challenges a legally anchored boat to check on your sobriety is in my view pretty close to harassment. And by the way, in 40 years on and off the ICW, commercial and recreational, I have never seen or heard of this happening.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:15 PM   #42
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Also looking for definitions of BUI. States say "operating" but don't define that.
Check this page, Chapter 327.02, paragraph 30.
Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

"(30) 'Operate' means to be in charge of, in command of, or in actual physical control of a vessel upon the waters of this state, to exercise control over or to have responsibility for a vesselís navigation or safety while the vessel is underway upon the waters of this state, or to control or steer a vessel being towed by another vessel upon the waters of the state."

Regarding the comments about COLREGS, being underway, and that sort of thing... Doesn't matter. This is a state law, and the state legislature in Florida has defined the terms. If you are "in charge of" the vessel then you are "operating" it. It does not have to be moving at all. The comment about "underway" is an OR, not an AND. So, if you are in control while underway, OR you are in charge of the vessel (even when not underway), you are operating. And if operating, subject to charges of BUI.

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Again we're discussing something none of us are aware of ever happening and talking like LEO's are going wild enforcing it.
Absolutely. I was pointed towards one account where someone may have gotten a ticket for this when legally anchored for the night in Florida (although that's not really clear). The key to that incident (in my mind) is that the person who got the ticket admits to having been seriously drunk, and completely obnoxious with the officer. Yeah, well, that's ALWAYS a good way to get a ticket!

This is just not a problem that any reasonable person needs to worry about.
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:13 PM   #43
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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.
This happened to us a couple of years ago at a place we've anchored in the past (Cozy Cove on Lake Wahington). It hugely pissed me off since the "distance off" put us outside the Cove on a moonless night in 15kt winds - not pleasant.

So I chased this down this year and ended up in communication with the Fire Marshall for all freshwater activities in our county. The "distance off" is determined after the permit is applied for and is based on the largest device in the show. So if they upgrade for a Big Bang, everyone moves back. Except fixed structures don't move. 😀

So boats...they don't like. Surrounded by water but they can't access them for fire or injury. They don't know where they are (neither do most boaters!). And they are invisible. The absolute worst - from their standpoint - are anchored and unable to maneuver. They really, really don't want people anchoring.

Interesting perspective...
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Old 09-02-2015, 02:08 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Check this page, Chapter 327.02, paragraph 30.
Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

"(30) 'Operate' means to be in charge of, in command of, or in actual physical control of a vessel upon the waters of this state, to exercise control over or to have responsibility for a vesselís navigation or safety while the vessel is underway upon the waters of this state, or to control or steer a vessel being towed by another vessel upon the waters of the state."

Regarding the comments about COLREGS, being underway, and that sort of thing... Doesn't matter. This is a state law, and the state legislature in Florida has defined the terms. If you are "in charge of" the vessel then you are "operating" it. It does not have to be moving at all. The comment about "underway" is an OR, not an AND. So, if you are in control while underway, OR you are in charge of the vessel (even when not underway), you are operating. And if operating, subject to charges of BUI.


Absolutely. I was pointed towards one account where someone may have gotten a ticket for this when legally anchored for the night in Florida (although that's not really clear). The key to that incident (in my mind) is that the person who got the ticket admits to having been seriously drunk, and completely obnoxious with the officer. Yeah, well, that's ALWAYS a good way to get a ticket!

This is just not a problem that any reasonable person needs to worry about.
Sounds like that definition of "operate" could also be applied to a boat tied up in a marina.
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:49 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Check this page, Chapter 327.02, paragraph 30.
Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

"(30) 'Operate' means to be in charge of, in command of, or in actual physical control of a vessel upon the waters of this state, to exercise control over or to have responsibility for a vesselís navigation or safety while the vessel is underway upon the waters of this state, or to control or steer a vessel being towed by another vessel upon the waters of the state."

Regarding the comments about COLREGS, being underway, and that sort of thing... Doesn't matter. This is a state law, and the state legislature in Florida has defined the terms. If you are "in charge of" the vessel then you are "operating" it. It does not have to be moving at all. The comment about "underway" is an OR, not an AND. So, if you are in control while underway, OR you are in charge of the vessel (even when not underway), you are operating. And if operating, subject to charges of BUI.


Absolutely. I was pointed towards one account where someone may have gotten a ticket for this when legally anchored for the night in Florida (although that's not really clear). The key to that incident (in my mind) is that the person who got the ticket admits to having been seriously drunk, and completely obnoxious with the officer. Yeah, well, that's ALWAYS a good way to get a ticket!

This is just not a problem that any reasonable person needs to worry about.
You have to read it in its entire. It has 2 qualifiers. I believe if someone received a citation in Florida while at anchor could prevail in court. The vessel has to be underway, i.e. moving........
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:02 PM   #46
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You have to read it in its entire. It has 2 qualifiers. I believe if someone received a citation in Florida while at anchor could prevail in court. The vessel has to be underway, i.e. moving........
Actually it is worded very poorly but if you read through all the "ors" you get

be in charge of, in command of, or in actual physical control of a vessel upon the waters of this state,

to exercise control over or to have responsibility for a vesselís navigation or safety while the vessel is underway upon the waters of this state,

or

to control or steer a vessel being towed by another vessel upon the waters of the state."


Wifey B: So since there is an "or" after the second comma it automatically extends the "or" to the first comma. So, grammatically, any one of the three situations means you're operating the boat. Anchored you would be in charge of, in command, and in physical control.

Now what makes it impossible to read is they have "or's" within "or's" as the first definition has an "or" in it.

Frankly, my dears, I don't think they have all their "or's" in the water.

They should be punished. F- to whoever wrote it.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:23 PM   #47
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Simple. When you see the blue lights, DROP THE ANCHOR!
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:25 PM   #48
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I'm not sure anchored is any different than moored. In either case, the vessel can be vacated and therefore is not being 'operated' by anyone. If it's legal to vacate the vessel, why must it be considered 'operating' if people are present?

I think the men in blue are blowing blue smoke up someone's skirt.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:28 PM   #49
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I think the men in blue are blowing blue smoke up someone's skirt.

Similar to every thread on this subject on any forum...
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:44 PM   #50
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Similar to every thread on this subject on any forum...
Well, it's a lot of talk about something that is only a hypothetical, so you know it's not going to be great to start with. It's about like starting a thread asking, "I live in Nebraska. What precautions should I take if they forecast a hurricane for where I live?"

Oh, and I'm guilty of getting sucked in too. But I don't take it seriously.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:11 PM   #51
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Simple. When you see the blue lights, DROP THE ANCHOR!
If they see you drop the anchor you are clearly "in charge of, in command of, and in actual physical control of a vessel".
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:20 PM   #52
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Greetings,
Mr. PB. DUI/BUI= Driving/Boating Under (the) Influence. Yup, tempest in a teapot indeed.
Yes, thanks RT. I had worked out it meant literally Driver Under Influence, but when typing it, out came drunk in charge as the more colloquial description over here...

However, just to clarify...is there not a legal blood alcohol level below which you are ok, or is zero alcohol the law for driving or boat piloting in the US, (or Canada)..?
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:11 AM   #53
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"But officer, I'm far too drunk to be 'in charge' of this vessel, let alone 'in control'."
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:20 AM   #54
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Yes, thanks RT. I had worked out it meant literally Driver Under Influence, but when typing it, out came drunk in charge as the more colloquial description over here...

However, just to clarify...is there not a legal blood alcohol level below which you are ok, or is zero alcohol the law for driving or boat piloting in the US, (or Canada)..?
It varies by state but in most states now it is .08
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:27 AM   #55
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Police here can charge you with DUI/BUI, which requires (non) sobriety evidence, or PCA (Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol, determined by blood or breath analysis), which needs only the analysis. (Then there`s PUI, involving only a keyboard).
Let`s not overlook things can go wrong while anchored."Three sheets to the wind", we might not cope too well.
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:46 AM   #56
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Best to drink "indoors" and out of sight.



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Old 09-03-2015, 08:06 AM   #57
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It varies by state but in most states now it is .08
Thanks BandB. That's the NZ level also. Aussie is considered extra tight only allowing 0.05.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:21 AM   #58
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It varies by state but in most states now it is .08
Colorado has a limit between 0.05 and 0.08 where you can be charged for driving while ability impaired. 0.08 and above is a more serious charge. In an accident, as a driver, in most states, any alcohol in your system can potentially cause you pretty serious grief.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:27 AM   #59
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In the U.S. We have two levels of intoxication to be aware of.

The universal level is 0.08. That applies to everyone in a motor vehicle, boat, or transportation.

Then (pay attention if you have a TWIC card). If a person is subject to DOT drug testing then you can be prosecuted for being 0.04 to 0.08! This applies to CDL truck drivers, commercial boat crew, and people who have 'transportation sensitive' jobs. Railroad, aviation, and bus, taxi, limo drivers too. Once an observant prosecutor digs into the case it could be the lower limit. If the USCG is involved and you have an MMC then the 0.04 is definitely the limit.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:15 AM   #60
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Tossing a couple of other limits out. For underage, it's .02 in most places. That's the level at which it is considered evidence one has consumed alcohol.

Also, while some states have legally defined levels of impairment short of under the influence such as .05, in almost every state there is impairment and in vehicular homicide cases as well as civil cases impairment short of intoxication often comes into play. Their is strong enough scientific data to support that one's responses are impacted at .05 and above. So, even if one can't be convicted of DUI they can be assigned responsibility for the accident with their impairment as a contributing factor. Of course, others will be quick to point out that many other things can also impair you, from texting to lack of sleep to illness. And now in the US a whole new can of worms has opened wide and that is impairment due to marijuana. Most states laws do not cover that at all. Now when it was illegal to consume in all states, it was easy to just say you were guilty if you'd consumed. Now suddenly, it's a matter of how much. In some ways we're going back to the future in that with video of all interaction at the time of arrest including the field tests, juries are now often making their decisions based on that evidence. They still believe what they see often more than what a test shows.
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