Drink Survey - What does it mean?

awol

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I asked the questions, you guys responded and I wish I could make better sense of the results.

1343 people viewed the post and almost exactly 25% answered the questions so that probably makes it statistically invalid for a start.

20% think there is a problem with alcohol abuse and 26% have witnessed an incident with alcohol as a factor - or turn it round to - 80% don't think it's a problem and 74% have no experience of problems.

24% (including me) have sailed when they probably would have failed a breathalyser test this season - or - 76% of you don't need to add alcohol to enjoy yourselves. Does this mean that threequarters of you wouldn't be affected by this legislation anyway?

Mobos are perceived to drink more than raggies (but this is a sailing forum).

The final question was the one that didn't surprise me but confuses me the most - only 5% of you know of sanctions being taken under the existing rules against drink related problems. Is this because the "authorities" don't bother, because no-one reports it, there isn't a problem, or some other explanation?

Petitions, letters to Ladyman and to your MPs are your perogative - (I don't think shipping has been devolved to Holyrood) - but how you phrase the unnecessary nature of the new legislation without making us appear to be a bunch of irresponsible drunks, I don't know. Perhaps a campaign of "Take your MP sailing" so they can actually experience the absence of a problem might work.
 

EdWingfield

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'24% (including me) have sailed when they probably would have failed a breathalyser test this season'

The true figure is likely to be higher than 24% for the following reasons. Some may not wish to incriminate themselves, and others may be in denial!

Arguing that there is no problem is not credible.

Whether legislation can fix that problem is arguable.
 

fireball

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[ QUOTE ]
Whether legislation can fix that problem is arguable.

[/ QUOTE ]

Erm - shouldn't there be reliable research and investigation to establish if there is actually a problem first - and then establish if new or changing legislation could actually fix any problem that may exist ...

I suppose a by-product of the increased police presense on the water to enforce this new rulling is that there will be a greater deterrant for other crimes committed ...
 

awol

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[ QUOTE ]
The true figure is likely to be higher than 24% for the following reasons. Some may not wish to incriminate themselves, and others may be in denial!

[/ QUOTE ]

You may be right but the question was answered and the anonymous nature of the response should avoid both your "reasons". I am not arguing that there is "no problem" but that there needs to be some evidence, other than anecdotal, before a problem and an antidote should be declared.
I have not been drunk when sailing for many a year but, for example, yesterday I had two glasses of white wine with my lunch while underway - I drove home some 4 hours later. I would not have had the second glass had I been driving immediately after lunch.
 

dom

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This legislation could also mean the end of large sailing events as we know them.

But first of all motorboaters. Anyone who sails at Cowes Week, Little Britain or whatever is standing in the proverbial glasshouse!

Another question in your survey could have been:

Which boat at Cowes - where most of the crews collapswd somewhere circa 2am - has a crew member under the legal limit as they slip moorings?

Like in the Americas Cup yachts might be allowed carry an extra man, perhaps termed "The sober man" to comply with the new rules.
 

misterg

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Having stayed out of it until now, I offer my 0.02p:

1) I don't think anyone here is advocating being allowed to be 'drunk' (i.e. incapable) in command, but there is concern that the drink/drive and professional mariner's limit is too close for comfort to allow the 'social' side of our pastime to continue in the traditional manner (OK, traditional for some, but not others). Should the law come in, many of us would have to change our behaviour - will this solve any 'problems'? I doubt it. Is this level 'appropriate'? Maybe not, but it's a figure already enshrined in law, and is easiest to pluck out of the air for this purpose. I doubt that arguing for a different figure will do any good. If the driving limit changes, I would expect the others to follow suit.

2) I agree with the comments about the (general) obsession with alcohol, but that's the way it is, and this proposal doesn't seek to change that.

3) I see it written on here that there is already a law which would allow someone to be prosecuted for this, but I've not seen reference to what law this refers to - what is it? If the problems that people are observing relate to people being 'drunk' then it boils down to how the fear of getting caught, i.e. how the existing law is policed? I suspect that (generally) they aren't, and only come into play after an incident.

4) The proposal would create 'Marine Officers' to police the law - These, and their supporting bureaucracy would have to be paid for somehow. I am certain this will not be from general taxation - therefore it either has to be self funding which will drive aggressive enforcement from hungry officials, or it will mean a levy of some sort on 'boating' in general. The moral high-ground has already been claimed, as this is a 'safety' issue. I think this will be the cue for compulsory registration, with an annual charge, along the lines of car tax discs. No registration ? Boat impounded. 'Drink Boater'? No registration. The government is desperate for any new revenue it can generate. What better than 3.5 million (or whatever the figure is) boat owners each paying in a few hundred quid a year where previously there was nothing?

5) By any analysis you care to make, compulsory life-jackets would be more effective in reducing casualties if there was concern about 'our' safety. Compulsory training would be worthy of consideration, too. I'm not advocating either of these, but it makes me very angry to see the distortion and selective use of accident figures used to pursue a particular agenda, and leads me to believe that there is a social 'class' element to it.

I would like to understand what the current law is, though. The best argument is that the bases are already covered, and why are we wasting time, money and effort duplicating laws.

<edit>
6) Many boats are used for more than a means of transport - for many of us, they are our homes from time to time, too (all the time for some). It is extremely messy to try and differentiate between the two for the purposes of this legislation.
</edit>

FWIW.

Andy
 

duncan

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Whether legislation can fix that problem is arguable.

[/ QUOTE ]

Erm - shouldn't there be reliable research and investigation to establish if there is actually a problem first - and then establish if new or changing legislation could actually fix any problem that may exist ...

I suppose a by-product of the increased police presense on the water to enforce this new rulling is that there will be a greater deterrant for other crimes committed ...

[/ QUOTE ]

two high profile incidents (correctly) prompted detailed research into this - which is accurately portrayed in the paper, and then basically ignored.
 

EdWingfield

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'By any analysis you care to make, compulsory life-jackets would be more effective in reducing casualties if there was concern about 'our' safety.'

But RYA resist this. What's wrong with their analysis? Or what's wrong with yours?
 

Talbot

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[ QUOTE ]
By any analysis you care to make, compulsory life-jackets would be more effective in reducing casualties if there was concern about 'our' safe

[/ QUOTE ]

I believe in past years there have been occassions when more people have died in baths than in the sea, perhaps we should wear lifejackets whenever we use the bath as well.

Arthur Ransome had it right - If not duffers, wont drown. - Otherwise darwin award time.
 

mel80

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[ QUOTE ]
'
But RYA resist this. What's wrong with their analysis? Or what's wrong with yours?

[/ QUOTE ]

The crucial, and rather obvious, distinction is that not wearing a lifejacket will not put other people at risk.
 

Slow_boat

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Just like the compulsory life jacket arguement, this is a proposed cure for a problem that does not exist. As soon as people start throwing statistics around common sense seems to go out the window.

Or is it this control freek government have seen that there is a self-regulating area full of self-reliant people looking for some kind of freedom, that must be whipped into control as part of the socialist dream?
 

Twister_Ken

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A far more more easily detected set of rules cannot be universally enforced - harbour authority speed limits - so what chance does a drink/sailing law have of feeling collars?

My suspicion, if Ladyboy gets his way, is that the breathalyser will only be hauled out after an accident. Which is pretty much were we stand at the moment, isn't it?
 

duncan

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the RYA resist compulsory wearing of lifejackets - I think they would support a requirement for them to be onboard (apart from the conflict with their high level 'education not legislation' approach.

to me the simplicity of life jackets for all onboard is that they demand people think at all - which currently they dont have to and act as some measure of protection for the younger members of the boating fraternity (who tend not to wear them becasue they don't exist rather than because they don't want too)
 
G

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Duncan: You are wrong in my book, I do not need a noose around my neck to understand that the point of hitting the water, however attired, is the point where the probability of survival changes the most.

Not going over is a better cure, than wearing a silly bag that stops you swimming properly and saving yourself.

So I will keep to tethers, deep cockpits and a healthy appreciation of the dangers.

However, if it is a child being transferred by dingy etc, then absolutely. I prefer to spend my money on things that will keep me safe not things that will wear out every day just in case. Crossing the barrier in to the realm of survival is just not in my plans. Exactly, the same as opening the window and leaning out while travelling down a motorway never appeals to me either.

But the "fear" market is big business and requires you to wear, charge, test and service all these pieces of equipment that should never be used. My life jackets are arm reach sealed and perfect for the day we need them. (So far we only put them on once, we also gave each other a hug and said good bye, it was that bad)

However, back to drink, I wonder what the "Marine Police" would have made of the sight of us celebrating getting around the world with 2 sips of champagne as we crossed our outward track.

Yes, I think there is a serious problem with drink and pleasure boats but I do not want to be breath tested every time I muck up a berthing manoeuvre. Just so some accountant can continue to fund the police boat.
 

duncan

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Neil,

You seem to be making this very pesonal and are confusing the hell out of me as well!

[ QUOTE ]
Duncan: You are wrong in my book,

[/ QUOTE ] - fair enough; I have said that having the appropriate life jackets on board any vessel is an important step in improving safety - possibly more so than legislating that people wear them.
You think I am wrong - no problem it's only my opinion.

But you then go on to say.........
[ QUOTE ]
However, if it is a child being transferred by dingy etc, then absolutely

[/ QUOTE ] whilst I had said that in the case of 'little people' it was more likely they would wear them you now seem to be agreeing with something I didn't say.

You then say [ QUOTE ]
I prefer to spend my money on things that will keep me safe not things that will wear out every day just in case.

[/ QUOTE ] which seems consistent with not having any onboard yourself (which surprised me) but then
[ QUOTE ]
My life jackets are arm reach sealed and perfect for the day we need them

[/ QUOTE ] which seems to me to match my observation, my expectation of you, and my own practice incedentially, spot on.

I can only assume that you are now disagreeing with any of my posts on principle as a starting point.
 

Bergman

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I fear you are wrong.

Whatever organisation is created to breathalyse you will look to further justify its existance by intrusive and useless regulations to enforce and fines and ludicrous charges for costs being applied to fund itself.

Don't forget the local authorities that employ people to bring prosecutions for dropping toffee papers.
 
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