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I am not asking for any comments, what anyone does on their boat is their business not mine. I just wanted everyone to be aware of it.
 

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32 DW X-CAT
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Comment:

Since were on the topic of BUI and FYI's.

I was told to be on the lookout for a mooring scenario wherein LEO will be moored on the river ie... anchored in way if you go by on plane they will have back up unit stop you for excessive speed ie... greater than 5MPH within 100ft of a moored vessel. However, if you come out of throttle they will subjectively decide whether to stop your vessel.

Once I heard this I was genuinely appalled as this tactic is very capricious and borders on illegal and unethical. Why! well the river in some areas is not very wide and this tactic may be more of an obstruction to boats navigating the river than attempting to curb BUI.

Honestly, you must be clueless if you cannot find candidates for legal stops without creating an obstacle under the guise of BUI enforcement. I am all for setting up a designated check point that is visible and clearly defined in a safe area.

Furthermore, if they really want to crack down on BUI just set up at Windsor or any other launch ramp at oh! 5:30 P.M. til dark and bring a wagon, stack of citation books and case of cuffs

I hope this information I was given was false. If anyone knows otherwise please let me know or post up.

KAP
 

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Don't Taze Me, Bro!
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Comment:

Since were on the topic of BUI and FYI's.

I was told to be on the lookout for a mooring scenario wherein LEO will be moored on the river ie... anchored in way if you go by on plane they will have back up unit stop you for excessive speed ie... greater than 5MPH within 100ft of a moored vessel. However, if you come out of throttle they will subjectively decide whether to stop your vessel.

Once I heard this I was genuinely appalled as this tactic is very capricious and borders on illegal and unethical. Why! well the river in some areas is not very wide and this tactic may be more of an obstruction to boats navigating the river than attempting to curb BUI.

Honestly, you must be clueless if you cannot find candidates for legal stops without creating an obstacle under the guise of BUI enforcement. I am all for setting up a designated check point that is visible and clearly defined in a safe area.

Furthermore, if they really want to crack down on BUI just set up at Windsor or any other launch ramp at oh! 5:30 P.M. til dark and bring a wagon, stack of citation books and case of cuffs

I hope this information I was given was false. If anyone knows otherwise please let me know or post up.

KAP
This sounds like one of those, "My buddy told me he heard that it happened to the nephew of a girl that his brother's friend used to date" scenarios.

A couple of reasons.

1) Law Enforcement doesn't have enough boats or officers for this kind of "sting".

2) On the River it would be unnecessary, since California has a law for "no wake" within 100' of a dock or landing and 250' from a person swimming in the water or a beach. (Arizona has no laws regarding "No Wake" except in designated/marked "no wake" areas)

3) If we wanted to find PC to stop boats, we could stop boats all day long, based solely on number displays. I'll bet that 2/3-3/4 of the people here with boats don't have their numbers displayed in strict compliance with the law.

4) We don't need probable cause to stop boats. The Supreme Court has ruled that the 4th Amendment protections against warrantless stops of motor vehicles, don't apply to vessels:

Vessel Searches .--Not only is the warrant requirement inapplicable to brief stops of vessels, but also none of the safeguards applicable to stops of automobiles on less than probable cause are necessary predicates to stops of vessels. In United States v. Villamonte-Marquez, the Court upheld a random stop and boarding of a vessel by customs agents, lacking any suspicion of wrongdoing, for purpose of inspecting documentation. The boarding was authorized by statute derived from an act of the First Congress, and hence had ''an impressive historical pedigree'' carrying with it a presumption of constitutionality. Moreover, ''important factual differences between vessels located in waters offering ready access to the open sea and automobiles on principal thoroughfares in the border area'' justify application of a less restrictive rule for vessel searches. The reason why random stops of vehicles have been held impermissible under the Fourth Amendment, the Court explained, is that stops at fixed checkpoints or roadblocks are both feasible and less subject to abuse of discretion by authorities. ''But no reasonable claim can be made that permanent checkpoints would be practical on waters such as these where vessels can move in any direction at any time and need not follow established 'avenues' as automobiles must do.'' Because there is a ''substantial'' governmental interest in enforcing documentation laws, ''especially in waters where the need to deter or apprehend smugglers is great,'' the Court found the ''limited'' but not ''minimal'' intrusion occasioned by boarding for documentation inspection to be reasonable. Dissenting Justice Brennan argued that the Court for the first time was approving ''a completely random seizure and detention of persons and an entry onto private, noncommercial premises by police officers, without any limitations whatever on the officers' discretion or any safeguards against abuse.
There are enough people on the water that are doing blatantly illegal or unsafe things that we don’t need to resort to subterfuge. made up PC or “random” stops to find people to pull over. While our time is taken up with someone who hasn’t done anything wrong, 10 boats will go that really deserve to be stopped.

As far as checkpoints and operations like this weekend, these are to raise awareness and to deter people from drinking and driving in the first place. Historically, these pull in about the same number of (or less) OUIs per officer than a normal weekend would.

We would like nothing more than to have one of these things and "catch" ZERO drunks. Keeping boaters sober and/or off the water in the first place is the main objective.
 

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This sounds like one of those, "My buddy told me he heard that it happened to the nephew of a girl that his brother's friend used to date" scenarios.

A couple of reasons.

1) Law Enforcement doesn't have enough boats or officers for this kind of "sting".

2) On the River it would be unnecessary, since California has a law for "no wake" within 100' of a dock or landing and 250' from a person swimming in the water or a beach. (Arizona has no laws regarding "No Wake" except in designated/marked "no wake" areas)

3) If we wanted to find PC to stop boats, we could stop boats all day long, based solely on number displays. I'll bet that 2/3-3/4 of the people here with boats don't have their numbers displayed in strict compliance with the law.

4) We don't need probable cause to stop boats. The Supreme Court has ruled that the 4th Amendment protections against warrantless stops of motor vehicles, don't apply to vessels:



There are enough people on the water that are doing blatantly illegal or unsafe things that we don’t need to resort to subterfuge. made up PC or “random” stops to find people to pull over. While our time is taken up with someone who hasn’t done anything wrong, 10 boats will go that really deserve to be stopped.

As far as checkpoints and operations like this weekend, these are to raise awareness and to deter people from drinking and driving in the first place. Historically, these pull in about the same number of (or less) OUIs per officer than a normal weekend would.

We would like nothing more than to have one of these things and "catch" ZERO drunks. Keeping boaters sober and/or off the water in the first place is the main objective.

Boy I wish this concept would be grasped in Havasu...
 

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32 DW X-CAT
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Guess you got your answer...your contact if full of it...:|err
Hello Shueman:

Well this CI has been good before and I was a bit suspicious of this statement but glad he is full of BS:D.
__________________

Boatcop wrote:
There are enough people on the water that are doing blatantly illegal or unsafe things that we don’t need to resort to subterfuge. made up PC or “random” stops to find people to pull over. While our time is taken up with someone who hasn’t done anything wrong, 10 boats will go that really deserve to be stopped.
Thank you Allen for your post I appreciate the perspective and agree whole heartdly with the above comment.

Plus, as a boater I have a hard enough time keeping my family safe from people crossing my bow constantly and approaching vessels on my starboard instead of my port while going up river---this alone has me white knuckled the whole time without having to worry about BUI.

KAP
 

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We would like nothing more than to have one of these things and "catch" ZERO drunks. Keeping boaters sober and/or off the water in the first place is the main objective.

That would be GREAT.....

After that set up a DUMB ASS sting.....
 

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Don't Taze Me, Bro!
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Plus, as a boater I have a hard enough time keeping my family safe from people crossing my bow constantly and approaching vessels on my starboard instead of my port while going up river---this alone has me white knuckled the whole time without having to worry about BUI.

KAP
Boats on your starboard, approaching or crossing, are "stand-on" vessels (they have right of way). When faced with this situation, you are the "give way" vessel and it's YOUR responsibility to slow, stop or alter course to allow them to pass.
 

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Hello Boatcop:

It is funny you did not mention this section.

5-347. Interference with navigation or launching areas
A. No person shall unreasonably or unnecessarily interfere with other watercraft, with the free and proper use of the waterways of the state or with areas used for launching watercraft onto such waterways. Anchoring or swimming in heavily traveled channels or launching areas shall constitute such interference. Note:There is also Federal Authority on this section that is same or similar.


As for the Villamonte-Marquez decision I have read it previously and it is a narrow decision. State and Local law enforcement is neither a Customs Agency nor the U.S. Coast Guard as the prior two agencies do not need PC to board. Nor do sister agencies of the newly formed Federal Homeland Security branchs all of which are under federal jurisdiction.

The same cannot be said generally for state and local law enforcement agencies. I say generally because some states do have safety boarding statutes I believe Nevada has such a statute. Local law enforcement must rely on a state statute to board a vessel without PC. Thus, in the absence of PC [ I mean one that can be articulated] or state statute--- law enforcement cannot unilaterally board a boat in a subjective manner. Sure you can find a lot of PC as stated but that is why judges also grant dismissals:D.

I am not as familiar with Arizona Revised Statutes Title 5 as you are, but I was unable to find a Arizona state boarding statute that would allow you to conduct a safety inspection on a documented vessel or state vessel without PC. If you could please cite this section I would like to read and review the authority.

I am not the stand on vessel when operating on the river in a meeting situation as no one could be on my starboard as it is dominated by reeds and bank:). For example I am going down river with the bank on my starboard the oncoming boat is traveling right at me ie... meeting situation-- they are required to alter course so as to pass on my port. Oh! and with enough room to do so safely. I sure not going to swerve to my port at planing speed that is inviting disaster.

For a complete listing of the navigation rules, refer to the document “Navigation Rules of the Road” published by the U.S. Coast Guard (COMDTINST 16672.2 Series:

Law as follows----Each vessel in a meeting situation must alter course to starboard so that each will pass on the port side of the other. At night, you will recognize a head-on meeting situation if you see both red and green side lights at the same time.

Crossing would only occur from the port side always--- as the reeds would be on my starboard in either direction. Thus, crossing would occur from the port side and this you cannot do and you must give way. In any scenario each vessel operator has the utmost duty to avoid a collision.

Our boat is a documented vessel and does not have numbers displayed. I find this to be a nuisance of a sort as this screams for scrutiny by law enforcement. I have spoken to the OIC on our part of the river and the word got out ;) so I usually get the customary wave and chat on occasion when times are slow.

It would be interesting to see a copy of the local Checkpoint plans for departments as lot of interesting information is contained in these plans which must be put into place prior to any enforcement action. Delays should not be excessive is the key I believe in most plans and no stacking of boats ie...numerous boats waiting.


Respectfully,

KAP
 

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Don't Taze Me, Bro!
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Kap,

Arizona's enforcement and boarding laws are contained in State Law, and AZGFD commission rules, as follows:

5-391. Enforcement; violation; classification

A. Any person who violates any provision of this chapter, except section 5-341, subsection A, B, C or D, section 5-349, section 5-350, subsection C, section 5-393, 5-395, 5-396 or 5-397 and subsection C, D, G or H of this section or any rule issued thereunder, is guilty of a petty offense. Any person who violates section 5-350, subsection C is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

B. All peace officers of the state, counties and cities shall enforce the provisions of this chapter and all laws and rules relating to the operation of watercraft.

C. In the enforcement of this chapter, the operator of the watercraft on being hailed by any peace officer shall stop immediately and lay to, or maneuver in such a way as to permit the peace officer to come aboard or alongside. The operator may be ordered ashore to correct any unlawful condition, issued a written warning or written repair order or issued a citation for any violation of this chapter.

R12-4-528. Watercraft Checkpoints

A. A law enforcement agency may establish a watercraft checkpoint to ensure public safety on state waterways, to screen for unsafe or impaired watercraft operators, or to gather demographic, statistical, and compliance information related to watercraft activities.

B. An individual may be required to perform the following during a watercraft stop or at a watercraft checkpoint:

1. Stop or halt as directed when being hailed by a peace officer or entering the established checkpoint boundary under A.R.S. § 5-391, and

2. Provide evidence of required safety equipment and registration documentation under A.R.S. Title 5, Chapter 3, Boating and Water Sports.

C. This Section does not limit any state peace officer's authority to conduct routine watercraft patrol efforts under A.R.S. Title 5, Chapter 3, Boating and Water Sports.
Although contained in the section regarding "checkpoints", the highlighted portion(s) permit the stopping and inspection of watercraft for any or no reason.

State courts, including appeals courts, have ruled that the provisions of the Villamonte-Marquez ruling apply on federal and sole state waters for state and local marine enforcement officers in enforcement of boating laws.

I'll post those decisions later. Not enough time this morning.
 

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If federal law prohibits the random stopping of a motor vehicle I fail to understand why a water vehicle would be handled in any other manor. It appears to me that State, County or Cities have taken advantage of the purpose and intent of federal maritime laws and that in the truest sense of a citizens rights are being unlawfully taken advantage of and borders on infringement of our Constitutional right of liberty and freedom without probable cause.

In addition, todays newspapers are reporting that the US military is trailing a Korean ship believed to have nuclear weapons and that there is discussion if the US has the right to board this ship. My point is that I believe it's clear there are certain rights and laws for boarding watercraft that apply all the way down the line and that just because some over zealous bonehead politician and his cronies passed some vague law allowing LE to stop and board boats does not make it concurrent with US Constitutional rights.

I am not anti-law enforcement but I am concerned about maintaining our Constitutional rights to be able to come and go without being stopped by law enforcement to see who and what we are doing without just cause.
 

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"Try it Now!"
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Boatcop, the no PC required for a stop is new to me. I read that case law decision, and it seems to hover a lot over waters accesible to the ocean, borders, etc. How do you guys argue that havasu/parker is similar to that? I understand that the river eventually flows to mexico/maybe even to the ocean at one time in history, but to me that decision doesn't seem to impact the river/inland lakes.

PS, i'm not being a smartass, i'm asking an honest question....as i know virtually nothing about the case law involving vessels. I can see if you're driving a cigarette boat in from the wide open sea, that there would be less restriction on the searches for "National Security", much like border checkpoints, but not driving a jet boat around in blythe...am i wrong?
 

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Don't Taze Me, Bro!
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If federal law prohibits the random stopping of a motor vehicle I fail to understand why a water vehicle would be handeled in any other manor. It appears to me that State, County or Cities have taken advantage of the purpose and intent of federal maritime laws and that in the truest sence of a citizens rights are being unlawfully taken advantage of and borders on infringement of our Contitutional right of liberty and freedom without probable cause.
Boatcop, the no PC required for a stop is new to me. I read that case law decision, and it seems to hover a lot over waters accesible to the ocean, borders, etc. How do you guys argue that havasu/parker is similar to that? I understand that the river eventually flows to mexico/maybe even to the ocean at one time in history, but to me that decision doesn't seem to impact the river/inland lakes.

PS, i'm not being a smartass, i'm asking an honest question....as i know virtually nothing about the case law involving vessels. I can see if you're driving a cigarette boat in from the wide open sea, that there would be less restriction on the searches for "National Security", much like border checkpoints, but not driving a jet boat around in blythe...am i wrong?
Here is one decision on the issue:

http://www.cca.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/152999a.htm
 

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"Try it Now!"
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That's stretching it to say the least....If that's the case, have you guys been stopping people just to check them out..or do you still rely on PC, using that case decision as something to fall back on? If that case decision stands, could you stop the same boat every day you see in on the Parker strip just to do an "inspection"?
 

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With all due respect Boat Cop, a few weeks back you made the statement that you would not enforce gun laws that are contrary to the US Constitution. I fail to see the difference in this instance, I think the Constitution is clear in its intent regarding peoples rights to have the freedom to come and go without being stopped unless they have been witnessed committing a crime regardless of if they are in a car, a boat or just walking down the street. I will repeat, just because some bonehead politician and his cronies have passed a law otherwise does not over rule the intent of US Constitution. If we, as a society, lose sight of the intent of the Constitution we will be no better than any other second rate country around the world.
 

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32 DW X-CAT
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Dear Boatcop:

I usually agree with most posts that you put up and your insight into boating safety and experience is very much respected.

However, when you delve into the area of legal interpretation your argument is misleading and missing key language and/or is a stretch which would never hold up in a court of law in any jurisdiction. The legal authority you cited about enforcement involves where you have reason to believe or observed a violation of a particular boating statute ie...registration. The section you quoted makes no mention of authority to conduct a warrantless search of a vessel.

I have yet to have one law enforcement officer in California indicate to me that state and local law enforcement can conduct warrantless searchs of vessels in inland waterways ie...navigable lakes and rivers. Furthermore, in California you need PC and if by chance you are stopped by law enforcement on a technical isssue of safety violation. The issuing agency will issue you a receipt of your safety inspection with the appropriate check marks where you passed so if you get stopped again you simply produce the document and you go on your way.

This area is very much the hush hush area of law enforcement no one really talks about--- why? It is my opinon that law enforcement does not want the public to really know what their rights are and/or to maintain the edge when contacts are made under the guise of safety checks.

Officer Authority, Compliance & Assistance
In California, every peace officer of the state, city, county, harbor district, or other political subdivision of the state has the authority to stop and inspect vessels to enforce local boating laws when there is probable cause that a violation exists.

The Arizona Model Plan for BUI checkpoints specifically mentions the fact that it is difficult for law enforcement to establish PC randomly to check for BUI issues including safety equipment--- See page two of form.

Furthermore, the majority of case law where you have warrantless searchs ie... search were no PC existed has several common denominators. One the vessels are in Customs waters ie... open ocean and subject to searchs by U.S. Customs, U.S. Border Patrol or U.S. Coast Guard. These searchs are usually in Florida or areas where open waters do not allow for enforcement as it is too difficult to inspect such vessels.

I cannot find a single Arizona statute that indicates it is acceptable to conduct a non-PC stop on a vessel. Furthermore, I would love to be stopped with no PC and take the issue up the legal ladder ie...Appeals court one way to make it precedent:D.

You simply cannot be stopped unilaterally with no observable violation of a safety statute or regulatory issue on a inland navigable waterway such as the Colorado river or the lakes it forms.

Talk to your District Attorney at the Parker Division and ask them what they think about conducting a warrantless search on a vessel with no real PC;).

Plus, it is my observation over the last 28 years of boating is law enforcement really uses their discretion well on the water ie... provide warnings or information to boaters which is extremely valuable.

Respectfully,

KAP

P.S. I take it the information on meeting head on with a vessel on the river is correct and the crossing as well. Add one more component and you really have a scary situation meeting head on at night on the river---ultra scary:D.

Let me know when you find that Arizona Statute on the ability to conduct warrantless searches on vessels and/or no articulable PC.

P.P.S. I do like/support and commend your position on not enforcing gun laws which violate the United States Constitution:D.
 
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