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Old 05-12-2016, 08:15 PM   #1
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Sheyenne's Law

Wifey B: Last July 4, Sheyenne Marshall, a 17 year old, was on Lake Norman, our old boating grounds near Charlotte NC. She was on a kneeboard when a passing boat with a drunk operator struck her. She died. NC is one of the toughest states when it comes to DUI's on the road. However, operating a boat while impaired is only a misdemeanor. No felony law existed, not even for an impaired operator who caused a death. They're not the only state. The NC House passed Sheyenne's law to change that on Thursday, unanimously. Hopefully the senate will and the governor will sign the new law.

July 4 was one of the few days we didn't get out on the lake, at least until everyone else cleared off in the evening. The insanity, the drunken operators, scared the bloody he.. out of us. Last year 7 people died in alcohol related boating accidents in NC. Cheyenne was such a beautiful child. I was just looking at a photo with her and her father. I can't imagine the parents' suffering.

In less than 2 months we face another July 4, a day to celebrate. Why the freak can't we do it without killing innocent kids.

It's an epidemic. I'm not talking one or two beers, yes the classic answer, I only had two beers. I'm talking people who wouldn't drive a car drunk, jumping into a boat. I'm talking people who have lost their driver's license for life getting out and operating a boat. Yes, we knew of such a guy and the game warden did catch him circling a small fishing boat over and over to watch the fisherman being tossed wildly by his wake.

I'm not asking for responses here, just asking that you all think about it.

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Old 05-12-2016, 08:46 PM   #2
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I think the boating laws should match the motor vehicle laws including requiring a test and a license. Certainly operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs should carry the same penalties as operating a motor vehicle under the influence.


And (this is important), there needs to be enforcement. If LEOs were to station themselves at the boat ramps they would be carting folks off to jail one after another on holidays. In my area, they don't.


If we're not on a cruise, we stay in the marina and watch the circus that is the public boat ramp on holiday weekends.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:23 PM   #3
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I think the boating laws should match the motor vehicle laws including requiring a test and a license. Certainly operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs should carry the same penalties as operating a motor vehicle under the influence.
And (this is important), there needs to be enforcement.
Here in Queensland, and I think it is Australia wide now - that is how things are. Water Police pull up alongside boats, often at random and do breath testing, and certainly come down hard on people doing silly things, and they are routinely tested. The same regs apply on the water now, and beaches with 4WDs, as on the road. One's boat licence is added to the car licence.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:35 PM   #4
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Here in Queensland, and I think it is Australia wide now - that is how things are. Water Police pull up alongside boats, often at random and do breath testing, and certainly come down hard on people doing silly things, and they are routinely tested. The same regs apply on the water now, and beaches with 4WDs, as on the road. One's boat licence is added to the car licence.
I am afraid that makes way too much sense for it to be adopted here in the US.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:38 PM   #5
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Any boating or water related fatality is one too many. Sheyenne's case was particularly sad because she was so young. I hope they hanged the guy who hit her.


For many years, even before my 330 Sundancer was totaled by a BUI while we were aboard one evening, I have had a hard and fast rule for myself--If I have to drive the boat I do not drink. Period.

Other on my boat can drink and have as much fun as possible. It's MY job to see that they're safe while they're on the boat. I also encourage them to get a taxi or ride with someone after we get back to the dock.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:47 PM   #6
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A family history of alcoholism (on one side) and insurance investigations of boating accidents have me in the zero tolerance camp. The guy that says he is ok after "one or two" is the person least qualified to judge his condition.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:35 PM   #7
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I think the boating laws should match the motor vehicle laws including requiring a test and a license.
Ah, a good old exchange of a freedom for a sense of security.
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:01 AM   #8
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Wes, WA already has a "Boater Education Card" that you must have to operate a boat on WA waters. They phased it in over a period of years so the younger guys had a few years to get one. I think now that phase-in period is done.


Lost Horizons, I guess one could look at it that way. Having nearly been killed by a BUI, I don't see is so much as a loss of freedom. I was glad to see the law pass and glad to get my card.
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:23 AM   #9
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Lost Horizons, I guess one could look at it that way. Having nearly been killed by a BUI, I don't see is so much as a loss of freedom. I was glad to see the law pass and glad to get my card.
Yes, when it all boils down, there are freedoms...like our freedom to boat in safety...and liberties...and someone who is out of their mind on drugs, or even just pig ignorant, is taking liberties with our freedom to boat in safety. That's my take on it anyway.
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:20 AM   #10
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Wes, WA already has a "Boater Education Card" that you must have to operate a boat on WA waters. They phased it in over a period of years so the younger guys had a few years to get one. I think now that phase-in period is done.


Lost Horizons, I guess one could look at it that way. Having nearly been killed by a BUI, I don't see is so much as a loss of freedom. I was glad to see the law pass and glad to get my card.
Would you like the government to issue you a card - if you qualify - to allow you to speak freely, to defend yourself, to pursue happiness?

And by the way, licensing drivers does not magically eliminate drunk driving.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:51 AM   #11
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Would you like the government to issue you a card - if you qualify - to allow you to speak freely, to defend yourself, to pursue happiness?

And by the way, licensing drivers does not magically eliminate drunk driving.
True...the major point was the need to police those folk same as on the road. The licence just helps, because it's something that can educate when getting, and be taken away if one transgresses...
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:54 AM   #12
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Ah, a good old exchange of a freedom for a sense of security.
Are we supposed to take this as you disagreeing post?

You have to have a license and take a test to drive a car or truck.
You have to have a license and take a test to drive a motorcycle.
You have to have a license and take a test to fly an airplane.
You have to have a license and take a test to be a plumber or electrician.

Why do you think operating a boat should be different?

You give up a lot of so called "freedoms" to live in a society. You give up the right to pee or defecate wherever you want to. You give up the right to walk naked down the street.

Testing and licensing of boat operators is to protect the other people on the water including you and your loved ones. If you are offended by being required to prove that you are capable of safely operating a boat, maybe golf would be a better hobby. Of course golf has rules too.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:00 AM   #13
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Wes, WA already has a "Boater Education Card" that you must have to operate a boat on WA waters. They phased it in over a period of years so the younger guys had a few years to get one. I think now that phase-in period is done.


Lost Horizons, I guess one could look at it that way. Having nearly been killed by a BUI, I don't see is so much as a loss of freedom. I was glad to see the law pass and glad to get my card.
I am "grandfathered" in my state so I don't legally need a card. I won the Power Squadron's course at a boat show so my wife and I took the one day course, passed and go our cards.

To me, the course and test was a bit disappointing. Not difficult enough and it covered very little on actually operating a boat. Yet, it's far better than nothing.

My slip faces a busy public boat ramp and it's unbelievable the stupid things we see. Obviously, many of these boaters have no training and many lack the slightest bit of common sense.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:05 AM   #14
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.......... The guy that says he is ok after "one or two" is the person least qualified to judge his condition.
Of course he is, but you would be surprised at how many people think they can tell how intoxicated they are and will defend that belief. I played music in bars for many years and I've seen the effects of alcohol.

The law sets a certain alcohol blood level to define intoxication, but reality is, even part of one drink slows your reflexes and clouds your judgment.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:09 AM   #15
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B&B had a touching piece about responsibility.

It's not a debate about licenses or freedoms or police states.

It's a reminder to ACT RESPONSIBLY NO MATTER WHAT ACTIVITY WE ARE ENGAGED IN.

PERIOD.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:59 AM   #16
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B&B had a touching piece about responsibility.

It's not a debate about licenses or freedoms or police states.

It's a reminder to ACT RESPONSIBLY NO MATTER WHAT ACTIVITY WE ARE ENGAGED IN.

PERIOD.
No, not PERIOD. Not at all.

It's easy to forget that a very small percentage of boaters (or people who may operate a boat a couple times a year) participate in boating forums. Most people operating boats, especially those who only go out a few times per year equate operating a boat to operating a car. They don't understand the differences. And they don't hear, much less pay attention to the warnings about operating responsibly.

For these folks, hopping in a boat, going fast and having a few beers is their way of avoiding responsibility for a few hours.

Apparently, in many states, boating injuries and deaths are under the radar for lawmakers. They are more concerned with high profile subjects like letting men into or keeping them out of women's bathrooms.

Even in states where there are reasonably strict boating laws, enforcement is spotty or non-existent.

My marina has a high number of dry stack boaters. Every weekend I see them heading for their boats and most have at least one case of beer in their cart. The chances of them being stopped and checked for boating under the influence are slim to none and they know it.
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:37 PM   #17
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Of course he is, but you would be surprised at how many people think they can tell how intoxicated they are and will defend that belief. I played music in bars for many years and I've seen the effects of alcohol.

The law sets a certain alcohol blood level to define intoxication, but reality is, even part of one drink slows your reflexes and clouds your judgment.
A while back my son and I got into a discussion on the effects of alcohol, blood alcohol levels, the law etc... I am an old guy who drinks only very moderately and have a background in the medical sciences. He is a 25 year old kid. While I have never observed him intoxicated, nor even heard rumors of him being intoxicated, I am sure he and I behave differently. This discussion sparked my curiosity so I bought a breath blood alcohol tester.

A couple differnt times I purposely drank more alcohol than I normally would at home. I tested my blood alcohol level consistently. I was rather appalled at what I found. I was able to just barely get my blood alcohol level to .05% for a short time. At that level there is no way in hell I would drive a car, operate a boat, or even trust myself to have an intelligent conversation. I simply felt way too impaired and didn't like it one bit. I didn't feel like trying to get myself to the legal limit because I didn't like the effect the alcohol had even at .05%. I did learn that I would never be arrested for DUI because my personal threshold was on the order of .02 - .03% before I felt that I was impaired.

What is horrifying is that I wasn't even close to the .08% level that WA state uses as the threshold for DUI. Having never thought about it before, I am now a strong supporter of the effort in some states to decrease the legal limit to .05%.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:00 PM   #18
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A couple differnt times I purposely drank more alcohol than I normally would at home. I tested my blood alcohol level consistently. I was rather appalled at what I found. I was able to just barely get my blood alcohol level to .05% for a short time. At that level there is no way in hell I would drive a car, operate a boat, or even trust myself to have an intelligent conversation. I simply felt way too impaired and didn't like it one bit. I didn't feel like trying to get myself to the legal limit because I didn't like the effect the alcohol had even at .05%. I did learn that I would never be arrested for DUI because my personal threshold was on the order of .02 - .03% before I felt that I was impaired.

What is horrifying is that I wasn't even close to the .08% level that WA state uses as the threshold for DUI. Having never thought about it before, I am now a strong supporter of the effort in some states to decrease the legal limit to .05%.
I've heard shows of radio hosts having themselves tested as they drank on air to increase visibility and the decrease in their reflexes and abilities recorded. That is the huge fallacy, that one is only impacted at .08%. That's just where the law steps in.

.05% or so and there is definitely impact. In transportation jobs .02% is the cutoff.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:10 PM   #19
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No, not PERIOD. Not at all.

It's easy to forget that a very small percentage of boaters (or people who may operate a boat a couple times a year) participate in boating forums. Most people operating boats, especially those who only go out a few times per year equate operating a boat to operating a car. They don't understand the differences. And they don't hear, much less pay attention to the warnings about operating responsibly.

For these folks, hopping in a boat, going fast and having a few beers is their way of avoiding responsibility for a few hours.

Apparently, in many states, boating injuries and deaths are under the radar for lawmakers. They are more concerned with high profile subjects like letting men into or keeping them out of women's bathrooms.

Even in states where there are reasonably strict boating laws, enforcement is spotty or non-existent.

My marina has a high number of dry stack boaters. Every weekend I see them heading for their boats and most have at least one case of beer in their cart. The chances of them being stopped and checked for boating under the influence are slim to none and they know it.
So, you're saying it's not about responsibility.

Then, what is this about?
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:18 PM   #20
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Ah, a good old exchange of a freedom for a sense of security.

Your freedom doesn't include killing or maiming me or anyone else. Otherwise knock yourself out.
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