Drink Legislation - a survey

Sixpence

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at least it should give some idea how people think , but if there were two seperate surveys it might have given some other indications by the time voting is complete , say , 24 Hrs maybe
 

gjgm

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I do find much of the attitude of this subject very odd. I dont, for a start, understand why people think there needs to an established problem before a law is brought in. Why not have a law to make it a crime? When I did the survey, about 3/4 of the respondents have witnessed an incident where alcohol was a factor, but 3/4 of the respondents dont think there is a problem with drink/boating.
 

pheran

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[ QUOTE ]
about 3/4 of the respondents have witnessed an incident where alcohol was a factor.................

[/ QUOTE ] Eh? Suggest you get your facts right. 70% say they HAVENT witnessed an incident where alcohol was a factor. And as for your not understanding why people think there needs to an established problem before a law is brought in. Why not have a law to make it a crime? perhaps you would prefer to live in a total police state where every action by the citizen was controlled. I find your views very odd, but at least with our current system you have the right to hold and voice them.
 

andyball

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Quite right

I have a friend who rather famously smashed into a yacht twice ( a year apart) when drunk - was in Portsmouth Harbour - no drink-boat byelaws there, so the police charged him with criminal damage instead.
 

gjgm

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OOPs,sorry if I misread the 70pct. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
So, your way forward is to let a "crime" occur before its necessary to implement a law? Thats bollox.Laws establish what is and what isnt acceptable within a society. And establishing that you shouldnt be in "charge" of a vessel while drunk seems to damn long way off from a police state.Seems a rather sensible policy to me.
 

stevebrassett

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[ QUOTE ]
Do mobos really drink more than raggies?

[/ QUOTE ]
Of course they do - they're richer. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

pheran

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Think about it Gavin. Your approach, taken to its logical conclusion would require the anticipation of every possible problem in every situation. Its that sort of bollox that has led to warnings on cans of soup such as 'Contents will be hot when heated' and 'May contain nuts' on packets of peanuts! Pragmatism is the only sensible way.
 

Gludy

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I do not think anyone on here would do other than condemn anyone who sets out in charge of a boat whilst under the influence of drink.

None of the official figures show that there is any real problem with boats and drink but the cost and practical difficulties of imposing legislation will make it a costly mistake.

If I am a driver of a car, sat in the back seat going nowhere but over the limit I am committing an offence..... yes/

If am in a caravan attached to that car, in a lay-by and over the limit, I think I am still committing an offence.

If I am in a caravan on a caravan park then even if I am in the car or in the caravan, I do not think I am committing an offence but it is possible I mat be doing so because the public have access to the park albeit private.

If now I am in a boat in a marina and over the limit - should I be committing an offence under any new law? I say not but there is a fair chance they will include that. If they exclude that then just how are they going to check on drunk boat owners at sea? Its becomes a very difficult practical problem that would be costly, if not impossible, to police.

In effect, without a boating licence, it is very difficult to punish. Frankly, I could say the teenager on board was in charge and nothing could be done as it is legal for them to command the boat.

I for one would support heavy penalties for anyone involved in a boating accident when it is their fault and they are over the limit. I am sure there are a number of laws already covering this.

Every society should understand that all laws are imperfect and to invent laws to anticipate every possible problem would suffocate the society - we are already at that point in many areas.

So I am very much against both the proposed boating drinking laws and skippers drinking too much whilst at sea in their boats - both those views can live side by side in a practical world.
 

masaccio

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Surely this proposed legislation is aimed at making it easier to prosecute transgressors when something terrible happens. That case in Cornwall, for instance. Bloke drinks all afternoon and evening, gets in his boat after dark and takes off across the bay with no nav lights. He crashes into another boat (also filled with drunks and with no nav lights), killing one person and seriously injuring several others. He's found not guilty of manslaughter or GBH, but pleads guilty to contravening col-regs and gets 150 hours community service.

The fact is, there are morons out there who drink and drive their boats, and the rest of us deserve some protection against them. If it is easier to prosecute them successfully, then that's got to be a good thing.

And as for the survey on Scuttlebutt...it's like asking members of the BNP if they think unemployement is a result of reading the Daily Mail or whether it's due to immigration and assylum-seekers.
 

Greg2

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Whilst I do think that there is currently an unhealthy tendency to try to legislate for every possible problem I think it is probably right for it to be an offence to have command/helm a vessel when drunk. Some might think it is OK to 'have a few' whilst out on a trip but the reality is that taking charge of any vessel is a serious matter which can affect others i.e. passengers, other vessels etc

The real issue is what exactly any legislation might say. Some peeps have drawn parrallels with drink drive legislation in cars where simply being in charge of a car when over the limit might lead to prosecution. It is worth noting that even in such cases there is a defence if the accused can show that there was no reasonable liklihood of driving whilst over the limit. In practical terms this means that 'sleeping it off' in the back of the car is unlikley to get you off the hook but being in your own house with the keys in your pocket during the evening with no intention of going anywhere untill the following morning will probably keep you out of the courts.

So, back to boats, it will be very dificult to apply the same principles as exist for cars. A boat is also a residence so an offence of 'being in charge' is likely to be frought with dificulties.

An offence of being over a prescribed limit whilst underway would not present the same problems and would make it clear when it is wrong to do something. The dificulty here, however, would be one of enforcement. For example, where the owner is onboard but has got a friend to 'do the driving' should he/she still be liable and where there is a 'switching of drivers' how do you prove responibilty where it was not possible to see it take place?

There is also the issue of what the prescribed limit should be and what level of enforcement is desired. So, would the intention be to simply have the legislation as a deterrent and use it whenever an incident occurs or would there be an expectation that the relevant authorities proactivley seek to catch offenders?

If it is understod exactly what the objective is I think some carefully considered legislation drawn up in conjunction with people who understand boating will probably be OK. But therein lies the problem - what are the chances of that happening???
 

gjgm

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no! thats not a logical conclusion;its an extreme conclusion.
I m actually neutral as to whether a law is brought in or not. I do agree that the law doesnt need to brought in TO control an existing problem. I dont adhere to a view commonly taken that any law would be expensive or impossible to administer. What a law for boat drink driving WOULD do, is give the legal means to prosecute someone for being "drunk". That might well be after an accident for example. That sounds pretty ok, to me. I really doubt we are going to have police running up and down the pontoons testing everyone.
 

Gludy

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That Cornish accident surprised me - I cannot see why the drunk was not charged with Manslaughter and I would support laws that make it easier to make such charges BUT just tell me how the proposed drink regs will stop that? What sort of policing would have had to happen to stop that idiot?

We have strict laws about drink driving - have a heavy monitoring of it, that would be impossible on water, and still have drunk drivers. The big change that reduced such driving was a change in attitude of the public.

We simply cannot put the enforcement in on the water. I would support a law that had heavy penalties for those involved in accidents who had been over a limit but in practice such laws would only act as a deterrent and would probably not have prevented the Cornish incident.

I am sure there have been accidents with hang gliders landing on people but it does not mean to say that we should heavily regulate hang gliding.
 

Gludy

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"That sounds pretty ok, to me. I really doubt we are going to have police running up and down the pontoons testing everyone. "

There are probably exisiting laws that could be modifed to do that without it applying just to boating. I am all for prosecution of those who have had accidents when drunk but the chances of a law not ending up with silly things like the police walking up and down the pontoons are remote.
 

Garryt

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I think this law would not have prevented the incident in Cornwall that lead to the loss of life.

Some people are morons all the time and they can't be legislated against! If it were possible, it should be illegal to be a moron!

This country is becoming even more like a "nanny state" than it already is. People, within reason should be given more responsibility for their actions. If a death is caused by someones pure negligence or moronic behavior, there should be the appropriate punishment that fits the crime!

It's a bit like speeding in a car.....the accidents are not caused purely by the speed, but mostly by the persons inability to drive at that speed. For instance, to drive at 75MPH on a motorway, you are committing the same crime as someone who is doing 90MPH! This cannot be a fair system.

You will get the same with boating in the future, in that someone who is slightly over the limit who can handle it will be punished the same as someone who has been totally irresponsible and consumed 5 times the recommended level!

That's my rant anyway: /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif
 

gjgm

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the chances of a law not ending up with silly things like the police walking up and down the pontoons are remote.
Come off it.. !
Might happen at hythe as we re next to the police station.
"right sarge, I m just off to do my pontoon rounds"
 

duncan

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[ QUOTE ]
I am sure there have been accidents with hang gliders landing on people but it does not mean to say that we should heavily regulate hang gliding.

[/ QUOTE ]

er I think we already do

and we have certainly introduced licencing for fuel powered model aircraft flying.........

I absolutely agree the sentiment of your earlier observation - more active resources actively policing are the key to saving lives. Prosecution is too late. Look at skiing in America v Europe for a good example of how to resolve similar issue - loads of (often voulenteer) patrols and you simply loose your lift pass for dangerous/drunk behaviour/ strike 2 and you have no chance of getting another one. Likelyhood of getting caught is easily 50% - behaviours changed dramatically!

The only real time I have seen the marine police in Poole acting in any 'tough' way was 2 weeks after the unfortunate swimmer incident off Bournmouth - and we found out afterwards that leave etc was cancelled and they had been instructed to show a big presence. 6 weeks later speedboats and jetskis were weaving in and out of boats in Studland anchored in the 4knot no wake zone giving eveyone the bird again........ /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
 

Rich_S

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For my two penneth, a car driven on the road with many interactions with other cars, pedestrians, junctions etc is a lot different to mooching up and down a river at max 5 knots. Not saying someone should be allowed to navigate when parraletic, but not sure the same limit should apply. Coastal and sea passages and where higher speeds are involved are another matter.
I'm all for legislation when the data involved shows that it is necessary. In this case it doesn't IMHO.

Rich.
 

masaccio

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But if this legislation had been in place, maybe the bloke in Cornwall might have gone to prison. In that case, maybe other people who think it's fine to get pissed at the helm would think about the possibility of going to prison too, and not do it.

With regard speeding in your car...it's entirely fair. There are speed limits, we all know them, and if you chose to break them then you have to accept the punishment if you get caught. It's entirely possible that the magistrate will fine you more for doing 90mph on the motorway than for doing 75mph. But either way, you've broken the law. Same with drink-driving.

It's very trendy to rant against the "nanny state", but you try telling the grieving families of people killed by drunks that there's no need for legislation.

"Slightly over the limit who can handle it"? Utter cock. Those limits are set for a reason...anything over that, and your ability to drive is seriously impaired, even if you think you can handle it. Drunk-driving is unacceptible on the roads, and it's unacceptible at sea.

FWIW, I don't think we'll see Plod patrolling pontoons or nicking people who have settled down for the evening in a marina. I think this legislation will be used to prosecute people who have had an accident as a result of being drunk.
 
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