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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-14-2012, 7:06 PM Reply   
Last weekend our lake had 3 Sheriff Boat’s on the lake. That’s a total of 6 Sheriffs (2 in each boat) from 2 County’s patrolling what I would say is a small lake.(lake Tulloch) We usually don’t even have that many Sheriff’s on a 3 day weekend. Now keep in mind the lake with school being back in session the lake is VERY slow. The result was what seemed like more cops on the lake then boaters.

2 people I know said they were pulled over for a “Safety Inspection” They said they were doing nothing wrong driving slow in the 5mph zone. These are older people in a pontoon boat. They said when they asked “Why they were being pulled over” the Sheriff said Safety Inspection. They complied with the sheriff & the inspection and both went on their way. But It left a bad taste and some questions.

The question of the day is.Are random “Safety Inspections” Legal?

I was under the impression that if you were doing something wrong I.E No Reg or speeding, they had every right to pull you over and THEN start a “Safety Inspection”
I’m all for safe boating but I’m also for probable cause. I don’t think any law enforcement agency should have the right to stop you and give you a “Safety Inspection” if you’re doing nothing wrong.

I was hoping some people knew the laws in California that could spread some light on this subject.
Old    Raf (Raf1985)      Join Date: Mar 2012       09-14-2012, 7:10 PM Reply   
I have gotten pulled over for a safety inspection before. I admit that we did look like a "rule breaking" crowd, but in reality they didn't have probable cause to pull us over.
Old    Jay T. (wakebrdjay)      Join Date: Apr 2008       09-14-2012, 7:14 PM Reply   
I boat on Lake Erie,the Coast Guard will flag you down and do a safety inspection whenever they want.If you pass they give you a paper stating so and if they try to board you for safety inspection again you just have to show it to them and they send you on your way.This happens mostly early in the season and holidays.Got stopped @1AM after watching a concert at a riverside venue here in Cleveland,OH,everyone on the boat was wasted except for me,they could tell I was sober.I was with guys I built Guitars with,we chatted with them for a few and went on our way.I have to say the CG guys are really cool,state watercraft officers sometimes not so much.

Last edited by wakebrdjay; 09-14-2012 at 7:18 PM.
Old    Markj (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       09-14-2012, 7:48 PM Reply   
This is a good question. I've often wondered the same thing. Don't we have any maritime lawyers on this forum? Where is Cherith Cutestory when you need him?
Old    Dan (hco)      Join Date: Jun 2006       09-14-2012, 8:05 PM Reply   
Safety inspections are legal at any time (not sure how it varies state to state, thats how it is for most though), but after passing the inspection you are allowed to request a certificate showing you passed it, which you are allowed to then present to other officers for the rest of that boating season, which should save you the trouble of having them board you and repeat the process.
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-14-2012, 8:11 PM Reply   
So this comes up from time to time and all the at home computer lawyers will chime in ,but here is the law pertaining to the waterways. Hate on me if you will, but anyone who knows me knows I am as laid back as you can be. I don't write anyone that doesn't talk themself into a ticket on the water and here in the city we sont write tickets at work for tracffic unless its our probable cause ticket for a stop.I have been the water police in some form or another with my local dept as well as a county sheriff and the coast guard. While some private lakes have their own rules and regs all public accessible waterways fall under the following.

A boarding by any law enforcement on the water is in a totally different realm than that of a vehicle. There does not need to be any reasonable suspicion or probable cause in order to board a boat. You also don't have to be in any violation of any rule or regulation in order to be boarded. Like it or not that is the law and is upheld daily in any court regarding boarding a vessel. I am not gonna cite a bunch of literature and statutes, but they are clear in the fact that law enforcement can board whomever they want.
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-14-2012, 8:22 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by hco View Post
Safety inspections are legal at any time (not sure how it varies state to state, thats how it is for most though), but after passing the inspection you are allowed to request a certificate showing you passed it, which you are allowed to then present to other officers for the rest of that boating season, which should save you the trouble of having them board you and repeat the process.
Dan is correct but not all departments use the same form and just because you passed your inspection before doesn't mean the officer can't do another one to make sure you are still up to code and cite you if he finds a violation. Like it or not I hate to use te word quota, but if we don't board any boats the entire time we are on the water how does that reflect on us? Be polite and the stop will last at max 5 minutes.

While I am in the posting mood one of the most common things people are dinged for that is often overlooked because the factory overlooks them is the covers on you battery terminals. There can be no open metal showing on the top of your batteries from the positive terminal . Another is a throw cushion for boats over 21 ft. . One more is a whistle or a flare gun.....some kind of audible signal device. On Lake Michigan the big violation is no flare gun.
Old     (madcityskier)      Join Date: Jun 2012       09-14-2012, 8:29 PM Reply   
Audible signal device? Is that similar to a horn? For that matter I can scream pretty damn loud when someone is getting to close to a fallen rider.
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-14-2012, 8:32 PM Reply   
And just one more thing to clarify regarding vehicle stops. An officer does not need probable cause to pull over a vehicle. Lots of people throw the term probable cause around because thats what tv and the mainstream media toss around, However the minimum factor needed in any stop on land is reasonable suspicion. That element is much different than probable cause. Probable cause is required for an arrest.
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-14-2012, 8:34 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by madcityskier View Post
Audible signal device? Is that similar to a horn? For that matter I can scream pretty damn loud when someone is getting to close to a fallen rider.
Has to be not tied into the electrical system of the boat. A whistle or an airhorn are the two most common. I don't write em just enforce em. Hahahahaha
Old    Skippabcool (skippabcool)      Join Date: Mar 2011       09-14-2012, 8:48 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by xstarrider View Post
Has to be not tied into the electrical system of the boat. A whistle or an airhorn are the two most common. I don't write em just enforce em. Hahahahaha
That may be a state to state law. The three musts in Colorado are PFD's for everyone, throwable, and fire extinguisher. There is a list of nice to have but not needed.

One thing that gets me is when someones opinion becomes law, not saying your state the whistle isn't a must, just a general statement. i.e. I was pulled over once while riding a bullet bike (cars and other motorcycles were passing me). The cop said I needed new tires because the ones I had did not have any traction. They were brand new tires.
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-14-2012, 9:10 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by skippabcool View Post
That may be a state to state law. The three musts in Colorado are PFD's for everyone, throwable, and fire extinguisher. There is a list of nice to have but not needed.

One thing that gets me is when someones opinion becomes law, not saying your state the whistle isn't a must, just a general statement. i.e. I was pulled over once while riding a bullet bike (cars and other motorcycles were passing me). The cop said I needed new tires because the ones I had did not have any traction. They were brand new tires.
The audible signal is a federal law not a state one. It's under the coast guard rules and regs and required. There are many states with other laws in addition to the federals and you obviously always need to check your local requirements. However the maritime law is specific in that boats under 39.5 feet don't need an audible signal device UNLESS they are on waterways seemed to be on the exempt list. So obviously no wakeboats is over 39.5ft you say......however there are many factors that add to the rule changing to all boats on the water vs those under 39.5 ft. and I chose to lean on the cautious side for people on the board. There are close to 20 different factors that make it a requirement, a 5 dollar whistle is worth the extent of avoiding a 95.00 citation if you happen to fall on a body of water deemed an exception .I am simply providing info that is maritime law not locally related



As far as you bike....... Here on the public way you can't run slicks. It's a violation and a ticketable offense. Don't know the Colorado vehicle code law, but here in IL it's a violation.

Last edited by xstarrider; 09-14-2012 at 9:15 PM.
Old    Timmy! (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       09-14-2012, 9:23 PM Reply   
Good info Swatguy, thanks for sharing! I think CO states that you have to have 3/32 tread depth or something on your tires so that means there would need to be some grooves in the tire somewhere for them to be legal.
Old    Skippabcool (skippabcool)      Join Date: Mar 2011       09-14-2012, 9:28 PM Reply   
Wasn't in CO and they had grooves, not slicks. I think you missed the point. Someone's opinion is not a rule or law.

That is good information. Based on your comments I take it you are in law enforcement. Your comment of you tend to lean on the cautious side, is that you personally or when you are enforcing?
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-14-2012, 9:39 PM Reply   
I also need to clarify the throwable as rereading my first post.

Please forgive me I just came from a teaching a knife defense class where 21 ft was the rule I hammered home for 3 hrs straight to a bunch or recruits. The throwable rule is for boats over 16 ft. Again my apologies for the confusion.

But if you want to know the safe distance to be from someone with a knife that is trying to kill you you need to be 21 ft or greater away in order to effectively draw your weapon and fire a round before they get to you.

Last edited by xstarrider; 09-14-2012 at 9:43 PM.
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-14-2012, 10:40 PM Reply   
No problem. You stated CO law pertaining to boats I assumed u were in CO for the bike incident.

My cautious side comes out when I give info on laws, rules, n regs. There are so many what if's, exceptions, and other factors it's really hard to give general advice. That's why I chose to stick to the federal laws concerning the most common safety violations. Sure there are a bunch more state related, but these apply everywhere on the public waterways.

When I am on the water it totally different than my regular gig. For me I see boats as dangerous objects. In most places you don't have to pass a test to buy and drive one. You don't get any education on how to operate one properly. You just sign the paperwork and go. Same with jetskis. The boating environment is filled with distractions, alcohol, and 4000lb plus boats with no brakes or room for error . People think of them as toys and not dangerous objects. On a busy weekend bodies are all over the water flying off tubes , surfboards, and wakeboards and people get overwhelmed fast. I take my water job as more as an informative roll rather than a hammer everyone with a citation roll. For me people who are usually in violation of the small thIngs just really had no idea. Sure some are gonna say ignorance is no excuse in their next post...however if you were pimped every time you made a small error no one would ever be happy. However I will most likely board your boat and either give you a written warning and/ or explain what you were doing wrong. So when I board the 20 boats a day me n my partner do I make them more of an informational visit. Ii am not looking to hammer you, your friends, and your family. I chat it up and if you can articulate you know the basics you're on your way. If not I talk more and explain the highlighted version of the rules n regs. I let the driver decide if he earns the violation I find. If they are a complete ignorant ass you bet they are getting a ticket. If not they are on their way. I take zero tolerance to bui's tho. I have seen way to many young kids killed on the water due to it. It's just no joke period. Like I said, I try to board as many boats as possible just to ensure that the people driving and participating are aware and informed so everyone can have safe day.

However I will add this. I have been boarded numerous times by the water popo as I used to travel a ton when I was a Centurion rep while still doing my police thing. All of my bad experiences with other officers have been with water police. I don't know why and I can't explain it.......maybe because they are in the middle of nowhere they think they need to be intimidating or something but all the times I had "that guy" pull me over it was the water patrol.


Dang sorry guys. I need to chill On the 5jr energy shots at 9pm. Sorry for the novels

Last edited by xstarrider; 09-14-2012 at 10:45 PM.
Old    Skippabcool (skippabcool)      Join Date: Mar 2011       09-14-2012, 10:49 PM Reply   
Makes sense, all good points.
Old    Markj (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       09-15-2012, 2:04 AM Reply   
I still can't believe no one got my Cherith Cutestory joke.
Old    Nailem (nailem)      Join Date: Apr 2011       09-15-2012, 6:47 AM Reply   
I also boat on lake Erie but in PA and we have the coast guard, boat and fish commission, state police, and boarder patrol. All out pulling boats over. It can really frustrating at times when your out with your family and get the random stop.
One of my dads friends got stopped once and he would not let them board his boat unless they took their shoes off. He says they must have leather sole shoes to be able to board. I don't know if that's true but after a lot of arguing they took their boots off. It makes for a great story.
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       09-15-2012, 7:07 AM Reply   
I personally don't mind the safety inspections and I see it was a time to get to know the officers that patrol the waterways that we share. At the end of the day - they want everyone to get on and off the water safely, same goal that I have. We have developed such a good relationship with out officers on our local lake that they will swing by while we a re tied up, say hello and ask them if we have seen anything out of the ordinary.

I am going to throw an air horn in my boat....Not only as a safety precaution but to also let one of my buddies know that his marathon session is over!!!!
Old    RB (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       09-15-2012, 7:28 AM Reply   
As for the OP...absolutely legal. When we had a cruiser boat and boated on the Mississippi and St Croix Rivers(border water) you could have up to 7 LEO agency's out there with jurisdiction. You could get checked 4 times in a day by different people. Way of life down there. Have to make sure your stuff it wired tight all the time. But they do it because of all the idiots out there.

Like Murphy I have no issue with it. It keeps the drunks where they belong and they wallies better under control. I like seeing the LEO's on our lake and wish they were out there more. Like when the neighbor lets his 10 year old ride the jet ski in circle for an hour by himself.

For the most part it's better for everyone when they are out there.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       09-15-2012, 8:03 AM Reply   
I wish the boat cops (rangers) would go away on our local water. They do nothing but annoy people. I spent a week at Norris Lake, which has to be 50x bigger than our local resevoir at least (probably more like 100x). Yet I never saw a boat cop out there once, but rarely can we go out without seeing one. He does such important things as make sure no one is swimming in the one dead-end, no-wake zone, secluded cove. And by swimming, I mean hanging out literally 2' from the swim platform. Yet watersports are okay.

The other resevioir this one feeds (Griggs) is even worse - I've seen two out there, it's not very wide (maybe 1000') and about 5 miles long, no tubes or PWC's allowed, 22' max length, 40MPH limit...there aren't THAT many boats out there. Huge waste of tax payer resources and no one wants to boat with "the man" watching you every second. Just like no one wants to drive down the highway with a cop following them - it just sucks.
Old    Dave Diaz (wakebrdr94)      Join Date: Jul 2010       09-15-2012, 9:28 AM Reply   
I don't mind water cops, they are doing their job. I've never had an issue with one, and I have been stopped for an inspection and it was no big deal. My feeling is if you can't take the to find out what items ARE REQUIRED where you boat, you probably don't much about your boat as well, or the rules on the waterway,just buy and drive. There is more to boating than a speed limit and no wake zone. As for their attitude, is there a wonder why they need to establish their authority pretty quickly? Listen to the people who complain about them, probably the same people that give the cops attitude and get citations. Be cool with them, they'll be cool with you, and move on. Just don't be that guy and all is good
Old    RB (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       09-15-2012, 9:41 AM Reply   
Totally agree. As a past cop I can tell you, you are right on. Too many uniformed boaters out there and thats why they can be the way they are. Checks are usually quick and easy if your stuff is as it should be. If you give attitude, your gonna get it back. Thats anywhere. The guy might think the laws he is enforcing are as dumb as you do, but if he needs a paycheck he has to enforce them. Trust me, some of the stuff you have to do as a cop is plenty stupid to the officer, but if it's the law you don't have a choice whether you enforce it. Especially in todays society of lawsuits. It has almost taken officer's discretion away. You have to enforce to the letter of the law or risk a lawsuit for favoritism or something else. Being an LEO is a tough job, getting tougher all the time.

I personally tell the guys thanks every time I see them. I've been there and I know how it is. I'm glad they are out there. Like I said above I wish we saw them more on the lake where or cabin is. Keeps the stupids away!!
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-15-2012, 11:42 AM Reply   
I have now been told by 2 diffrent law enforcement officers here in California (both active water patrol officers) that. They can't do it And they shouldn't be stoping anyone for Random safety checks unless someone is breaking some sort of rule or law.

I'm waiting to see California Department of Boating and Waterways ruling is or what is written in Black and White about this subject. Not doubting what Swatguy or others are is saying about how things are done in their state. I would just like to se what Ca has and I would like to see the written law. Any ideas where one could find sutch information.
Old     (newwhit)      Join Date: Mar 2007       09-15-2012, 11:54 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by markj View Post
This is a good question. I've often wondered the same thing. Don't we have any maritime lawyers on this forum? Where is Cherith Cutestory when you need him?
This same issue has been addressed on Bob Lablaw's Law Blog.
Old    RB (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       09-15-2012, 12:02 PM Reply   
I know for the state of Minnesota they can. I think the easy way around it is lifejackets if I recall correctly. They are required and if you are not wearing them they have a right to make sure you have one. So if everyone is wearing a PFD then they may not be able to stop you.
Old    RB (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       09-15-2012, 12:04 PM Reply   
As an fyi the state of MN also allows for courtesy check point for seat belts and I know when I was stationed in North Carolina they used to set up road blocks and sit and check license and registration. So it might vary by state. But I know as fact(in the boat regs) they can stop you here.(Minnesota)
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-15-2012, 12:55 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by grant_west View Post
I have now been told by 2 diffrent law enforcement officers here in California (both active water patrol officers) that. They can't do it And they shouldn't be stoping anyone for Random safety checks unless someone is breaking some sort of rule or law.

I'm waiting to see California Department of Boating and Waterways ruling is or what is written in Black and White about this subject. Not doubting what Swatguy or others are is saying about how things are done in their state. I would just like to se what Ca has and I would like to see the written law. Any ideas where one could find sutch information.
G,

I would love for you to keep us posted on this. I can assure you tho per federal maritime law no requirement or suspicion of a rule violation is needed. Maybe both those guys choose to only board boats with violations to ensure if they happen to get "that guy" they can write them. Or maybe their department has a special general order in place to only permit them to board in those certain situations. This why it is hard to give info. While federal law takes precedence here is a case where local departments make more restrictions . Gotta love Cali. It's as bad as the communist country called Chicago where we don't need to follow the constitution.

I only see one major problem if a local place cites a more restrictive policy. Now let's say the board a boat and the driver claims they were boarded with no legal cause. In order to cover their arses you are writhing going to get a ticket to show the violation or a written warning. That basically leaves no discretion for officers anymore. Because the one time you just send someone on their way after cutting them a break they will turn around and sue you and the dept for some quick cash. Now you are writing paper every time to cya. It's just bad policy if that is the case
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-15-2012, 12:58 PM Reply   
* LAW ENFORCEMENT * U.S. COAST GUARD
LAW ENFORCEMENT
An important Coast Guard mission is maritime law enforcement.
COAST GUARD BOARDING POLICY
To enforce these laws, the Coast Guard is empowered to board and inspect vessels. Many of the laws can be successfully enforced only by boarding a vessel while it is underway. Boardings are not necessarily based on suspicion that a violation already exists aboard the vessel. Their purpose is to prevent violations. The courts have consistently upheld this authority. All Coast Guard officers and petty officers are Federal law enforcement officers and they may board any United States vessel anywhere.
Old    Nailem (nailem)      Join Date: Apr 2011       09-15-2012, 2:28 PM Reply   
I understand that they have a job to do but with so many agencies patrolling one small area. Imagine if two or three times a week you got pulled over on your way to work just for a safety check. It gets old real quick.
Old    Dave Diaz (wakebrdr94)      Join Date: Jul 2010       09-15-2012, 2:51 PM Reply   
They can do the same thing with cars. I had a buddy that I used to do ride alongs with and you can find a reason to pull anyone over. If you are eating while driving, that is distracted driving. The parking pass you hang from your mirror, can't have that there while driving. In CA there is no such thing as "legal tint". Yet we do it knowing the risk of a ticket, then get mad when we get cited. Ill take getting randomly inspected hoping the next guy they pull over is the drunk one. And I know that people will complain about our privacy blah blah. What have you got to hide. Just do the inspection, be curteious, and be gone in 5 mins. Heck, half the people spend 20 mins or more time at the launch ramp. Just be cool. You might actually make a friend on the water if you are out there a lot
Old    Markj (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       09-15-2012, 11:14 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by newwhit View Post
This same issue has been addressed on Bob Lablaw's Law Blog.
Good one. Finally! Someone got it. Lol. I crack myself up.
Old    DBC (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       09-15-2012, 11:26 PM Reply   
I don't mind the water cops... they are courteous at my spot and gernally just wave at us as we pass. I don't mind the safety inspections either... I generally invite them on board early in the season so I can get the little sticker that says, "leave me alone for the rest of the year."

Having said that... reading this thread, I can't help but think of this quote...


“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

― Benjamin Franklin
Old    Mik (norcalrider)      Join Date: Jun 2002       09-16-2012, 7:14 PM Reply   
Latitude 38, a bay area sailing publication, posts letters regarding these inspection regularly. I will try to find their analysis of this question as I am pretty sure they've addressed it at length. I'm under the impression that the US Coast Guard applies unlimited discretion and will board your vessel for these inspections but I was unaware that state law allows these stops. I'm guessing legally you could likely pass but I'm sure the officers would find probably cause, like a beer in someones hand to escalate things.
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-17-2012, 11:54 AM Reply   
Que: The Jaws music,
Attached Images
 
Old    Sheldon (Fiveflat)      Join Date: Sep 2010       09-17-2012, 12:22 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by xstarrider View Post
* LAW ENFORCEMENT * U.S. COAST GUARD
LAW ENFORCEMENT
An important Coast Guard mission is maritime law enforcement.
COAST GUARD BOARDING POLICY
To enforce these laws, the Coast Guard is empowered to board and inspect vessels. Many of the laws can be successfully enforced only by boarding a vessel while it is underway. Boardings are not necessarily based on suspicion that a violation already exists aboard the vessel. Their purpose is to prevent violations. The courts have consistently upheld this authority. All Coast Guard officers and petty officers are Federal law enforcement officers and they may board any United States vessel anywhere.
This is interesting. Now answer this, is a County Sheriff considered a "Federal officer" if on a boat?
Old    Dan (hco)      Join Date: Jun 2006       09-17-2012, 12:33 PM Reply   
No, and that's the big difference. Coast guard is allowed to boar at any time on a coast guard enforced body of water. Many lakes do not fall under their area of patrol/enforcement. We have a decent sized lawsuit with the government right now because of that.
Old    Tom (boardjnky4)      Join Date: Dec 2011       09-17-2012, 12:35 PM Reply   
I don't mind the random safety checks. They've never come aboard, just request that we hold up life jackets, throwables, extinguisher and flash a registration card. I've never actually seen them check a boat underway though. Typically they just stop by the coves and do a once-over.

Too many idiots on the water without the proper equipment.
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-17-2012, 12:54 PM Reply   
Quote:
Boardings are not necessarily based on suspicion that a violation already exists aboard the vessel. Their purpose is to prevent violations.
WOW this sounds like a segment from the movie "'Minority Report' and the Pre-Crimes division
So its like they need to board your boat just to make sure you will not break any laws's. Humm Intresting, I do respect the Sheriff and LEO's and go along with whats legal and with in written law but I would like clarifacation on this.

I do agree with DCB 100% and BF's quote. "Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”


Coast Gaurd and what's done on open water is a diffrent subject IMO im talking about Local police on local waterways

Last edited by grant_west; 09-17-2012 at 12:56 PM. Reason: added items
Old    Ron (Nordicron)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-17-2012, 1:46 PM Reply   
I'd like to know this also. Why should I have to hold up a fire extinguisher or anything for that matter to the water patrol? If I'm not doing anything wrong I don't need him out there bothering me.

I got pulled over about a month ago while being towed. It was about 30min to sunset too! Anyway they pulled up beside us saying they got a call from someone complaining stereo was to loud. Told us if we wanted to play music loud needed to move it out to middle of lake. Not sure the law on that. But then they asked for us to all hold up a life vest and a throwable. Also asked to see the fire extinguisher. We had everything and they let us go but that used up 20mins of our remaining light.
Old    RB (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       09-17-2012, 1:58 PM Reply   
Most places have a noise ordinance. Whether city, county or state ordinance. Most are if the can hear your stereo 50 feet away. So most any tower system can get you a noise ticket if they want to write it. They will usually leave you alone until they get a complaint.

I have also been asked to move because our waves were rolling up on someones beach. Not sure if there is a law against that. But people complain about erosion with the large wakes.
Old    Dave Diaz (wakebrdr94)      Join Date: Jul 2010       09-17-2012, 2:06 PM Reply   
Aren't local agencies responsible for upholding federal law as well? Correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that federal law trumps local law. So unless there is a local directive not to do this, it seems that they are within there right to do so. Also, think of how many open container tickets they could pass out of they really wanted to.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-17-2012, 4:15 PM Reply   
Holding up the proper number of vests may not always work.

I was stopped while on a friends boat over Labor Day. Hes a non-local visitor and I think they recognize my boat as local and leave me alone.

We were short a child's large vest. Never heard that one. We had 5 extra vests but not a child's large. I don't know why this older larger 11+ year old child who can fit into the adult small or use the standard orange was out of compliance but we did not belabor the point because the office seemed like an ass. He told us the closest place was Walmart 23 miles away. Go park your families at the dock while someone drives.

We were all cool headed, relaxed and non-confrontational but confused by the end result as we had vests that fit everyone. Just letting everyone know to be prepared for this one.

We cruised about 10 houses down and grabbed a vest from a friends place. He had a disappointed look on his face when we flashed the vest as we drove on by. I think he wanted to see us pull back to the launch....WTF...

Last edited by srock; 09-17-2012 at 4:18 PM.
Old    Ron (Nordicron)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-17-2012, 5:09 PM Reply   
That was stupid I think kids vests only go upto 90lbs rating.
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-17-2012, 7:00 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiveflat View Post
This is interesting. Now answer this, is a County Sheriff considered a "Federal officer" if on a boat?
Sheldon,
If your County Sheriff has a designated/legit Marine unit they are likely operating partly from a federal grant given by/under the USCG. Due to that they have the same powers as the USCG regarding their mission. Basically, not using the exact technical term, the Coast Guard deputizes these officers through their certification course to be a marine unit officer and local represenative for the USCG because they can't operate on every body of water with their budget and manpower. I can't speak for the ma and pa lakes in which the local p.d has a guy out there in a john boat or something like that, but for a majority of the bigger lakes and bodies of water the Coast Guard gives their power to the local enforcement or state conservation police by training them and certifying them with their rules and regulations.
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-17-2012, 7:04 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by hco View Post
No, and that's the big difference. Coast guard is allowed to boar at any time on a coast guard enforced body of water. Many lakes do not fall under their area of patrol/enforcement. We have a decent sized lawsuit with the government right now because of that.
That statement is partly true. This is more dependant on the level of certification the local law enforcement have for patrolling the water. As stated in a previous post most "Legit" marine units are trained and certified by the USCG and falls under their rules and regulations regarding vessels. The boat and officers don't have to have a Coast Guard boat or uniform. They can use their local enforcement equipment. The only need the certification. They are considered federally certified officers for purpose of their water patrol mission as they are acting on behalf, funded partially, and certified by the USCG.

Last edited by xstarrider; 09-17-2012 at 7:13 PM.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       09-17-2012, 7:26 PM Reply   
Water patrol acting like jerks is actually one of the items on my lake criteria. Last summer was one of the worst summers for A-hole water patrols in the delta. I was told my CF numbers did not have adequate contrast (silver #s over the dark blue hull!). They seriously were hassling me for no reason, interesting considering I was older than both of the officers being jerks. I bit my tongue and got off with a warning but left with a very bad impression for the expenditure of my tax dollars on my favorite waterway. It seems to come around every few years when a new officer gets out on the waterway I have been frequenting for 40+ years. Just because I have a newer looking boat fully decked out with speakers and wakeboards doesn't mean that I don't have thousands of hours on the same waterway they have been on for less than 100.

It is unfortunate that even though I am a very lawful citizen I still view the water patrol (Sheriff) as a negative. My experience with the coast guards has always been positive.
Old    Chris (rio_sanger)      Join Date: Apr 2007       09-17-2012, 9:18 PM Reply   
Have lived in Newport Harbor, CA my whole life. U.S. Coast Guard and Harbor Patrol (Sheriff) stop any boat at any time they want for safety inspections... although the Harbor Patrol rarely does unless the operator looks to be under the influence

Last edited by rio_sanger; 09-17-2012 at 9:23 PM.
Old    Dave Diaz (wakebrdr94)      Join Date: Jul 2010       09-18-2012, 8:12 AM Reply   
Not sure where you boat where the cop hassled you for the kids vest, but here is the wording in the CA law. "Children under 13 years of age must wear a properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while underway in a boat. ". Maybe the key word is fitted.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-18-2012, 8:28 AM Reply   
We had vests the fit everyone just fine. He seemed joyous that he could point us to a Wal mart 23 miles away and was quick to note he would be checking us when we rolled by again. We were nothing but cooperative. If our kids were not on board the discussion would have gotten a bit stronger.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       09-18-2012, 9:16 AM Reply   
These stops are unconstitutional, a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Basically soviet style checkpoints just like they do on the road these days. Of course they will claim it's legal because they pass some law nullifying the Fourth Amendment. What they do is morally and ethically wrong, but there's nothing you can do except comply to the minimum required or be arrested. Do not volunteer any information, do not talk to them other than giving your papers and showing your safety gear. I only do the minimum required by law, and am polite, but will offer no more than I'm required by law.

Around here they will not board you and in my experience take their time to allow you to put fenders out. They will detain you for 30-45 minutes per stop and try to fish for drunks or anything to fine or arrest you for. How friendly or cooperative you are has no bearing on how long they waste your time. By then the water is blown out and the pricks on jet skis and tubes are out in force. Coasties and police are just evil washouts, I prefer to avoid them wherever possible by staying in areas where there isn't as much traffic.
Old    N L (drnate)      Join Date: Jul 2006       09-18-2012, 10:21 AM Reply   
On our home lake we get pulled over and stopped and safety inspected EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND. For the entire season! It's the same cops, same lake, EVERY WEEKEND. I know they recognize me, but I'm starting to think they just like looking at my boat. Seriously
Old    Mik (norcalrider)      Join Date: Jun 2002       09-18-2012, 1:12 PM Reply   
United States v. Villamonte-Marquez - 462 U.S. 579 (1983)

Held: The action of the customs officers in boarding the sailboat pursuant to § 1581(a) was "reasonable," and was therefore consistent with the Fourth Amendment. Although no Act of Congress can authorize a violation of the Constitution, in 1790, in a lineal ancestor to § 1581(a), the First Congress clearly authorized the suspicionless boarding of vessels by Government officers, reflecting its view that such boardings are not contrary to the Fourth Amendment, which was promulgated by the same Congress. While random stops of vehicles, without any articulable suspicion of unlawful conduct, away from the Nation's borders are not permissible under the Fourth Amendment, United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U. S. 873; Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U. S. 648, whereas vehicles stops at fixed checkpoints or at roadblocks are, United States v. Martinez-Fuerte, 428 U. S. 543; Delaware v. Prouse, supra, the nature of waterborne commerce in waters providing ready access to the open sea is sufficiently different from the nature of vehicular traffic on highways as to make possible alternatives to the sort of "stop" made in this case less likely to accomplish the obviously essential governmental purposes involved. The system of prescribed outward markings used by States for vehicle registration is also significantly different than the system of external markings on vessels, and the extent and type of vessel documentation required by federal law is a good deal more variable and complex than are the state vehicle registration laws. Moreover, governmental interests in assuring compliance with vessel documentation requirements, particularly in waters where the need to deter or apprehend smugglers is great, are substantial, whereas the type of intrusion made in this case, while not minimal, is limited.
Old    Ron (Nordicron)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-18-2012, 1:27 PM Reply   
Thanks NorCal. Seems from the cases above the law should really only apply to waters that connect to navigable waters not land locked inland lakes!
Old    Mark (FunkyBunch)      Join Date: Jun 2011       09-18-2012, 1:30 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordicron View Post
Thanks NorCal. Seems from the cases above the law should really only apply to waters that connect to navigable waters not land locked inland lakes!
I was thinking the exact same thing.
Old    Mik (norcalrider)      Join Date: Jun 2002       09-18-2012, 2:16 PM Reply   
Understood but I think this is what is applied broadly by local LEO. Not saying it is right but what I found with some quick research. There are cases in TX, GA, and NC that uphold their respective state laws as well but as this forum has national participation it would be too exhaustive to post all those appropriate cases in each case.

Examples: North Carolina v. Pike (NC Court of Appeals) and Klutz v. Beam (US District Court)
Old    Dan (hco)      Join Date: Jun 2006       09-18-2012, 2:34 PM Reply   
Also, stopping for a safety check and physically boarding a boat are two completely different procedures. I would say boarding a boat is more similar to searching a car whereas a traffic stop for liscense/insurance check is more along the lines of a quick safety check (everyone show lifejackets, extinguisher, whistle/horn).
Old    Mik (norcalrider)      Join Date: Jun 2002       09-18-2012, 2:53 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by hco View Post
Also, stopping for a safety check and physically boarding a boat are two completely different procedures. I would say boarding a boat is more similar to searching a car whereas a traffic stop for liscense/insurance check is more along the lines of a quick safety check (everyone show lifejackets, extinguisher, whistle/horn).
Stop and identify is a fairly controversial practice but I see where you're going with this line of thinking and would agree there is a difference. Does not mean the difference makes this less controversial.
Old    9Drozd            09-18-2012, 4:37 PM Reply   
Every time I've been out on lake lewisville here in tx, the coast guard is just the coast guard auxiliary. The lake is a corp engineers lake so that might be the difference. The sheriffs dont board a vessel unless they can see something that's breaking the law. The game warden on the other hand will pull you over for no reason and search your boat through and through. Alot of times if a game warden is in the area and the sheriffs have a hunch your doing something wrong, they'll call the game warden out to pull you over and go through your boat. This is just what i've noticed, maybe there is some truth to it and maybe i'm dead wrong. We could just have nice sheriffs, idk.
Old    RB (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       09-18-2012, 6:31 PM Reply   
So back to the OP. I think we have established that it is legal. Like it or not. If you feel like you are being unfairly check and that they don't have the authority tell the officer so!!! Better yet just go with it and file your opinion with the court. Maybe you can be the case law cited next time we do this post. California v. WW Member!!!

I think it's just a fact of life as a boater. We've owner a cabin for 51 years so older than I am. Been on the water my whole life and try to follow the law. I've been checked a 100 plus times and no ticket yet. Only ran into a few jerk LEO's over the years. For the most part do the dance and your on your way. But I do agree some times it gets old.
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-22-2012, 11:48 AM Reply   
I have in my hand a copy of the California department of boating and waterways Guide to boating law and Saftey. page 15 first paragraph
It says that." Every Peace officer of the state, city, county,harbor district or other political subdivision of the state is empowerd to enforce California boating law . These officers have the authority to stop and board any vessel where they have probable cause to believe a violation of the law exists

P/C 836.
This is under Operational Law
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-22-2012, 11:53 AM Reply   
I have in my hand a copy of the California department of boating and waterways Guide to boating law and Saftey. page 15 first paragraph
It says that." Every Peace officer of the state, city, county,harbor district or other political subdivision of the state is empowerd to enforce California boating law . These officers have the authority to stop and board any vessel where they have probable cause to believe a violation of the law exists

P/C 836.
This is under Operational Law

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