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Old 16-07-2013, 09:55   #1
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Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

Add Ohio to the states that are restricting law enforcement boardings. This was posted in today's Trade Only...

The legislation reins in local and state officers from boarding local pleasure and charter boats unless there is a reasonable suspicion that laws are being broken, according to Cleveland.com.


Sponsor Rep. Rex Damschroder, a Republican from Fremont, told the website that boaters in northwest Ohio have been complaining about constant safety inspections by local and state agencies, including the Ohio Division of Watercraft. Some boaters have been checked multiple times during the same day and cited one instance of a local boater being brought to shore while face down and in handcuffs, even though a breathalyzer test showed no evidence of alcohol use, Damschroder said.


The regulation will not stop U.S. Coast Guard or Homeland Security officials from arbitrarily stopping and boarding boats.



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Old 16-07-2013, 10:02   #2
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

Everyone loves being out on the water. The local water cops are no exception. The more things they can find to cite boaters with, the more their time out on the water is "justified".

In my area almost all of the cities with waterfront have a patrol boat. All of the counties have at least one patrol boat. The State of California has its boats. The ports have their boats. The airports have their boats. Even the California Highway Patrol has a boat, yeah seriously.

Most of the boats themselves are some really expensive Moose Boats, most costing well over a million dollars each. They get these boats with federal grants under the guise of Homeland Security. Isn't that that Coast Guard's job?

Here on the San Francisco Bay on an officer per citizen basis, the water is far better patrolled than the land.

Perhaps there needs to be an re-prioritization of assets so that more officers are getting into the ghettos where the serious crimes are occurring rather than being concerned with whether or not a boaters flares have expired? How many boaters have you seen standing on the transom of their boat selling crack cocaine or doing sail-by shootings?

More than half of the water cop boats could be decommissioned and the waters of the SF Bay would just as effectively be covered. Besides, the USCG is far better equipped and trained at rescuing people. The USCG has plenty of 25 footers on the SF Bay.

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Old 16-07-2013, 10:22   #3
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

This merely affirms existing law, but it's good to hear anyway!
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Old 16-07-2013, 10:22   #4
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

Boaters and especially drunk small boaters are a ubiquitous danger to us all. Anyone who thinks boarding s are not an effective deterrent but done simply to justify their existence is pretty cynical. I'm adverse to unnecessary government intrusion but I also dislike jerks acting stupid in a boat.
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Old 16-07-2013, 10:31   #5
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Boaters and especially drunk small boaters are a ubiquitous danger to us all. Anyone who thinks boarding s are not an effective deterrent but done simply to justify their existence is pretty cynical. I'm adverse to unnecessary government intrusion but I also dislike jerks acting stupid in a boat.
I'm all for boarding with reasonable cause....i.e. jerks in a boat, etc... but to have random boardings for safety rubs me the wrong way.
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Old 16-07-2013, 10:59   #6
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

I'm all for boarding with reasonable cause....i.e. jerks in a boat, etc... but to have random boardings for safety rubs me the wrong way.

I think there should be some differantation between boarding and searches. Boardings sould be no more then step into cockpit, ask a few questions, just like a traffic stop, most times would not even need to step aboard, for searches get a warrant, even if it was an on the spot one, just so it gets filed
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Old 16-07-2013, 11:11   #7
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

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I'm all for boarding with reasonable cause....i.e. jerks in a boat, etc... but to have random boardings for safety rubs me the wrong way.
As one who is x-CG and done a myriad of boardings, it's a little difficult to differentiate by remote control.
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Old 16-07-2013, 11:37   #8
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

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As one who is x-CG and done a myriad of boardings, it's a little difficult to differentiate by remote control.
That's why the People of the states have laws to protect themselves from warrantless searches.

If you don't have probable cause, Mr. Authority Figure, you don't get aboard. That's the law.
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Old 16-07-2013, 11:47   #9
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

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As one who is x-CG and done a myriad of boardings, it's a little difficult to differentiate by remote control.
Land based law enforcement has managed to differentiate and there are very well defined rules on what is probable cause to search a home or vehicle. Don't see why the same basic protocols cannot be applied to maritime stops.

For example, see a boat wandering about the channel, not keeping a straight course, inappropriate speed, violating no wake zones, etc could be some of the reasons for a stop to see if the operator is impaired. I'm sure a marine version of a field sobriety test could be administered.

If looking for more serious violations then stop the vessel and do some questioning and observation of the person's responses for nervous behavior or visible evidence of some crime like operating a stolen vessel, smuggling, etc.

I know all the arguments, legal justifications for the marine policies and have read the discussions ad infinitum. My opinion, when I'm cruising my boat is my home. Just because of legal precedence based on an archaic law it is legal to enter and search my home without probable cause or warrant.

How would you feel if the local police could at whim enter your home and look through all your closets just in case you're harboring a terrorist and inspect your bathroom to confirm you're not flushing your toilet into the creek out back. Not a lawyer but I believe the same protections apply to a motor home being used as a residence. Would you support being pulled over at random in your car and having your car searched without cause or warrant but again on the whim of the LEO?
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Old 16-07-2013, 12:06   #10
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

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Everyone loves being out on the water. The local water cops are no exception. The more things they can find to cite boaters with, the more their time out on the water is "justified".

In my area almost all of the cities with waterfront have a patrol boat. All of the counties have at least one patrol boat. The State of California has its boats. The ports have their boats. The airports have their boats. Even the California Highway Patrol has a boat, yeah seriously.

Most of the boats themselves are some really expensive Moose Boats, most costing well over a million dollars each. They get these boats with federal grants under the guise of Homeland Security. Isn't that that Coast Guard's job?

Here on the San Francisco Bay on an officer per citizen basis, the water is far better patrolled than the land.

Perhaps there needs to be an re-prioritization of assets so that more officers are getting into the ghettos where the serious crimes are occurring rather than being concerned with whether or not a boaters flares have expired? How many boaters have you seen standing on the transom of their boat selling crack cocaine or doing sail-by shootings?

More than half of the water cop boats could be decommissioned and the waters of the SF Bay would just as effectively be covered. Besides, the USCG is far better equipped and trained at rescuing people. The USCG has plenty of 25 footers on the SF Bay.

Ahem to that... have you seen Alameda Sheriff Dept's boat? That thing is huge... must be 50ft at least. I've never seen it moving either. It just sits there docked near to the boat ramp.

For an island surrounded by very shallow water, it has to be the most useless boat imaginable.

Remember when that guy committed suicide a couple of years ago, and approx. 50 firefighters, police, and coastguard had to just stand there and watch because between them they didn't possess a small inflatable? The fire dept. had got rid of theirs' to save money.

Well fundamentally, congress is to blame. They decided to squander vast sums of money to provide every dept. under the sun with expensive boats. Of course the depts are going to try and justify the expenditure by doing lots of searches.
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Old 16-07-2013, 12:16   #11
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

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That's why the People of the states have laws to protect themselves from warrantless searches.

If you don't have probable cause, Mr. Authority Figure, you don't get aboard. That's the law.
Actually, probable cause is not a prerequisite to searches aboard vessels. If you want to get petulant about it, focus your sarcasm at the people YOU elected who wrote the law and not the people simply doing their job enforcing them.

I'm not Mr Authority. Maybe you could try to NOT be Mr. Uninformed.
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Old 16-07-2013, 12:25   #12
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

Let me be clear - I am all for law enforcement being able to stop and search boats when they think there is a good chance of a crime being committed.

I don't mind the coastguard doing safety inspections either, as 1) they have earned the respect of the boating community and 2) as they spend so much time rescuing people, they should have a say in prevention too.

What I do find objectionable is the situation where boaters are being stopped regularly, for no reason, sometimes even several times in a day, by numerous different agencies with no co-ordination between themselves.
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Old 16-07-2013, 12:59   #13
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

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What I do find objectionable .... sometimes even several times in a day, by numerous different agencies with no co-ordination between themselves.
I agree.
How often does that happen?
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Old 16-07-2013, 13:04   #14
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

I have not heard any such complaints in SF bay, but have heard many in Hudson bay. Clearly there was a problem in Ohio, hence the legislation, and in several other states who have also recently legislated.

I also have a problem with waste of public money, and there clearly has been a lot of that going on.
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Old 16-07-2013, 13:48   #15
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Re: Ohio Law Restricts Boardings

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Actually, probable cause is not a prerequisite to searches aboard vessels. If you want to get petulant about it, focus your sarcasm at the people YOU elected who wrote the law and not the people simply doing their job enforcing them.

I'm not Mr Authority. Maybe you could try to NOT be Mr. Uninformed.
Excuse me, but you DID come on as Mr. Authority Figure, and you DID brag about your "myriad boardings".

As far as I am aware, boating has not yet been classified as a crime. And if you manage to get a job as a state officer and you approach me without a warrant, I will politely tell you to go away. That is the law, and you will have to respect it. If you do not respect the law, then I will take up the issue with your employer, and make your bad manners as expensive for them as I possibly can.

See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), though we will be discussing a LOT of state law before we get to that point.
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