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Old 10-10-2009, 05:19   #1
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Felony Charges in Flathead Lake Crash

Felony charges have been filed against state Sen. Greg D. Barkus, who allegedly was piloting his boat under the influence of alcohol on Aug. 27 when it crashed into the rocky shore of Flathead Lake - injuring him and four other people......

Barkus charged with three felonies for boat crash
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:41   #2
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Amazing how logical the prosecutor can be in determining whom to charge when the person operating the vessel in an unsafe manner and under the influence of alcohol isn't in law enforcement and one of the prosecutor's friends. Simply amazing!

(See An Appalling Example of California Justice . . . )

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Old 10-10-2009, 09:59   #3
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Alcohol and boats just don't mix, don't matter what speed your boat is capable of. No alcohol for 24hrs before boarding and nothing until you hit port. It's not rocket science, it's the same as driving or flying. I enjoy a drink, sometimes to excess but there is no way I'm going to endanger my crew or the boat by drinking when I should be alcohol free. For anyone who wants to convince me otherwise, I simply don't believe you. There is ample evidence out there that even a glass of wine or a half pint of beer can reduce your decision making capability. Don't ever tell me that you just had a glass of wine, and that the wreck/accident was 'just an act of God'.

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Old 10-10-2009, 10:09   #4
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His blood alcohol level says it all, 0.16 one hour and 45 minutes after the crash. He claims he was not drinking enough to be legally intoxicated before the crash. This could only mean he drank after the accident. This is an accident which put people in the hospital which means he would have had to hit the bottle while there are seriously injured people laying around his boat waiting for an ambulance. Boy, what a time to party it up. Cheers to broken bones and lacerations. Oh sure!

Other than the very serious injuries, what bothers me most is that instead of admitting his mistake, backed by indisputable evidence, he is trying to weasel his way out. Its no wonder politicians have gained such bad reputations.

I can only see justice served by him losing his political seat and going to prison.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:10   #5
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are you serious?

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No alcohol for 24hrs before boarding and nothing until you hit port.
No alcohol for 24 hours before boarding?
Is this a new religion?
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:21   #6
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Its always been my opinion that the operator of a boat should not have any alcohol whatsoever in them. Its just too important of a job with peoples safety depending on the operators abilities. It makes no sense to reduce those abilities with alcohol.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:37   #7
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Quote:
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No alcohol for 24 hours before boarding?
Is this a new religion?
It's my religion Bash, what you do is up to you. Like I said, don't expect to be accepted if you tell me (or others) that you just had the one glass of wine when things went wrong.

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Old 10-10-2009, 10:39   #8
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I'm rolling my eyes here.

Alcohol is metabolized at the rate of .015 of blood alcohol concentration per hour. Which means that someone with the alleged concentration of the Flathead boater mentioned above would take 10 hours for the alcohol to completely metabolize.

The 24-hour abstinence rule being proposed here sounds a bit knee-jerk. That would mean that if I had a glass of wine with dinner last night, I shouldn't take my boat out this afternoon.

I'm fairly certain you won't find an physiological basis to support that argument, which is why I'm asking whether it's a new religion.
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:00   #9
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I'm basing my opinion on 5 years when I was licensed to certify Aircrew including pilots for the CAA, (UK authority for aviation) and the regulations that required, at the time, NO alcohol in the blood of a pilot when assessed. This was based on tests at Farnborough (the RAF Aviation Medicine Centre) that correlated impaired judgement down to very low levels of blood alcohol. Bash, roll you eyes or what ever, do you really need that drink the night before you sail, and if we are honest, it's seldom just the one? I'd suggest not! ymmv.
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:25   #10
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In my country, unfortunately...

...we see these religions come and go. Decades ago a group called the Womens' Christian Temperance Union brought us total prohibition, which in turn became the springboard for organized crime in the United States. More recently, a group calling itself "Mothers Against Drunk Driving" mobilized to get the drinking age advanced to 21 years across the country. This resulted in an explosion of binge drinking on college campuses around the country, where undergraduates were suddenly forced underground with their parties, so much so that 135 university presidents have now signed onto something called the "Amethyst Initiative" asking for a discussion about repealing the prohibition against under-21 drinking.

I'm not condoning boating under the influence here. But common sense must prevail, and a 24-hour ban on alcohol prior to boating doesn't pass the muster of common sense, in my opinion.

Amethyst Initiative Welcome to the Amethyst Initiative
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:25   #11
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Rather than edit my initial reply, I'll add comments here. It's sophistry to imply that you or the average boater would wait until they has spent the requisite number of hours, calculated on their (unknown) blood alcohol level. After a night with one or multiple drinks, people wake up and do what they had planned to do. They don't calculate their effectiveness, they just get on with it. The 24 hours gives a solid margin, though it's been know for this not to be enough time. Again YMMV
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:36   #12
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In order to follow the 24 hour rule, you'd have to shut down the charter industry. Only one boat out of twenty would be able to sail every day.

Think about the race circuit. Based on the number of crew partying at the Chicago Yacht Club before the Chicago/Mac the night before the race, there'd be 10 instead of 300 boats leaving port the next day.

I'm with Bash, a good nights sleep and common sense. There is a huge difference between piloting a jet with 300 people aboard at 500 miles down a runway and pulling up an anchor and sailing 10 miles. But - to each there own - just don't legislate it.
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:54   #13
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Drinking after the accident, but before the police arrive. Hmmmm-- interesting defense. What say you?? Probably not appropriate in this instance
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Old 12-10-2009, 13:44   #14
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Sophistry?

Quote:
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Rather than edit my initial reply, I'll add comments here. It's sophistry to imply that you or the average boater would wait until they has spent the requisite number of hours, calculated on their (unknown) blood alcohol level. After a night with one or multiple drinks, people wake up and do what they had planned to do. They don't calculate their effectiveness, they just get on with it. The 24 hours gives a solid margin, though it's been know for this not to be enough time. Again YMMV
Actually, it's simple math. And there are online calculators for those who can't handle the math. (I recommend bloodalcoholcalculator.org)

Let's run the numbers. I, being a 225lb. male, consume 4 glasses of wine over a period of three hours. At the end of that period my BAC is 0.021%, which in California puts me in the category of "Not Impaired." I hit the sack around 10:00, and by midnight my BAC returns to zero (Calculated at the previously mentioned absorption rate of 0.015 per hour.) After eight hours of sleep I wake up, eat a hearty breakfast, take a 10 kilometer spin in my kayak, return the the mother ship and shower. (This is actually my routine most Saturday mornings.) Then I take about an hour to get the boat ready, at which point we have a quick lunch and then cast off. It's now noon, my BAC has been zero for 12 hours, and I'm ready to sail if the winds are at all cooperative.

How can this possibly be a dangerous situation?
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Old 12-10-2009, 14:02   #15
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For pilots, the FAA rule is 12 hours.."Bottle to throttle". This seems sensible to me so long as he is not hungover or was not binge drinking 12 hours ago.
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