Breath test boaties

The fun police are at it again! Is this really what we need? 

 

https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/fishing/police-minister-backs-booze-and-drug-testing-for-boaties-ng-b88870369z

when one considers the risks water users face compared to road users, does anybody really think this would be nessecary?  

With the claimed 100,000 boats registered in WA, that must equate to at least two hundred thousand votes on this issue; would they be stupid enough to introduce it..... yeah, you are right, they probably would!!

Surely, we must push back against this continuous blindness of having to treat everyone the same as the lowest common denominator.....why cant we just punish the fools that cause the issues?

 


choc's picture

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 I don't really want it to

Wed, 2018-06-20 05:56

 I don't really want it to come in but unfortunately there are idiots out there.

What would be your opinion if one of these fools injures or kills a family member of yours because they have had a few too many?

It could happen very easily, especially areas where you can launch and retrieve right near where people are swimming, snorkelling, skiing etc...

sea-kem's picture

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 As the trial that's just

Wed, 2018-06-20 07:10

 As the trial that's just concluded where the bloke who had a skinful chopped his mate to pieces when he didn't realise he wasn't on board. Amazingly he's been acquitted. I won't touch anything when out at sea, you need your wits about you if it turns to shit. 

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still trying's picture

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 They already have speed

Wed, 2018-06-20 05:59

 They already have speed cameras on the river. Im not that worried about it they wont be booking me at all i may have a beer but im not going to blow over. 

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 For me, i support

Wed, 2018-06-20 06:01

 For me, i support introducing breath testing. Seen too many drunk idiots on the water endangering me, my family and others. Boats dry docked on reef, running into other boats. Had an instance where a 50ft ex cray private party boat with maybe 30 people on board decided it would be a good idea to travel at probably 12 knots through packed Longreach bay at 1am, music blaring. How they didn't hit someone or end up on the reef has got me. Personally, I had a few drinks one night whilst on the pick and was a little jolly. Realized we were dragging anchor and had to reset. When you've got your kids and wife asleep and you need to up anchor and reset in 25 knot winds, limited manouvarability and pitch black, you need your wits about you. 

I reckon keep the police out, allow Transport to govern this. Testing should apply to moving vessels, not those on the pick. 

 

uncle's picture

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No concerns

Wed, 2018-06-20 06:09

 Here

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Surely they have more

Wed, 2018-06-20 06:12

Surely they have more important things to worry about. How many marine accidents are caused by alcohol I would have thought  not many. Few beers and a crabbing session never hurt anyone. 

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 There are allways going to

Wed, 2018-06-20 06:35

 There are allways going to be a handfull of d$%k heads that abuse it and are pissed but think most i have wittnesed are having a few over a decent period of time wonder how they are going to police the pub at thompson bay must admit to driving the tender back to boat (very slowly) with a few under belt . In short leave it alone and stop punishing the majority for stupidity of the minority.

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If

Wed, 2018-06-20 06:56

 anyone is over the limit and driving a boat....... BOOK THEM !!

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Hear hear

Wed, 2018-06-20 07:19

 You’re the Skipper you’re responsible 

Id rather have my wits about me whilst at sea . As we all know shit can get pear shaped in the blink of an eye, save the booze for wash down and sea bounty cleaning . Hey Andy , we still on for drinks when you get your ass up here for your annual pilgrimage?. Might have to ride my pushie to the van park ....:)

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sea-kem's picture

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 Absolutely mate! We should

Wed, 2018-06-20 07:46

 Absolutely mate! We should be there around 5 next Friday 29th Capricorn holiday Park.

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Travis p's picture

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I agree

Wed, 2018-06-20 07:34

 I think its good seen to many fuck wits on the water mainly the river though

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..

Wed, 2018-06-20 07:35

..

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Iceman's picture

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Drunks being rescued

Wed, 2018-06-20 07:49

 It is about time. I have lost count of how many rescues I have completed and on return to harbour found the skipper full of booze. What get me even more angrier is some then go and get their car & trailer to drive home. Most OK as have nominated Driver for the day. If I feel they are intoxicated and going to drive home I will actually alert the police as it mine and other families they are putting at risk driving home that way. Have even had to call police doiwn the the marina as volunteers threatened by boaties whilst being rescued because we would not take them to where they wanted to go just the nearest safe harbour.

The question come as to who is the skipper. Is it the owner of the vessel or the one behind the wheel at the time they were pulled over for a breathe test. In NSW I thinks they breathe test the person driving ther vessel

When I had a boat I allowed other to drive it but that so if something happened to me they could get me home. Personally I did not have any alcohol on my boat. We enjoyed one when got back home after a day out. But that just me. Mind you when sittinmg at the ramp watching vessels launch I saw a tinnie with 4 blokes launch with 20 litres of fuel and 2 cartons of beer go out.

Also what penalties will they apply? Depending on how far over the limit they are will they be fined, loss of skippers ticket, vessel confiscated for 30 days and if deemed to drunk to skipper the vessel and no one else onboard has a skippers ticket how do they get back to the ramp or pen

Some may see this as revenue raising but I see it as common sense and unfortunately common sense is lacking in a lot of people who use the water

 

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Wed, 2018-06-20 08:38

 Well said Iceman, a qualified comment.

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Jackfrost80's picture

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I don't mind cracking a

Wed, 2018-06-20 07:54

I don't mind cracking a coldie or two while on the water and have no problem with 0.05 being brought it. It's mostly those same skippers that will then have to drive home pissed anyway. After I had one deckie smash 8 cans of bourbon in about two hours I now tell my deckies to "just bring a couple" as well.

Will be interesting to see what they propose for tenders and boats at anchor/on a mooring. I can see a hundred boats on Australia Day all on the pick at Dawesville because someone's put a call out over the radio warning everyone.

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crasny1's picture

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My thought exactly. As soon

Wed, 2018-06-20 08:04

My thought exactly.
As soon as anyone that's had a few sniffs a Police boat, drop the pick!!
I think in 30yrs at least boating I have been stopped by Water Police once - off Mandurah checking for Safety equipment. Marine and harbours and fisheries heaps.
Asked them out of interest what can they do if someone is obviously pissed and they said nothing unless they get permission to come onto the boat, but once on the boat they do have some powers. Didn't elaborate much further though about what that power was.

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hezzy's picture

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we run a dry boat have done

Wed, 2018-06-20 08:20

we run a dry boat
have done for last 20 years,so im all good with this ,

tipping point was back in the 90s when it became clear ''others '' can over imbibe and you as skipper are responsible for them , and their safety , had a mate get smashed very quickly on a night trip 7 miles off nanga in a small open boat in thick fog , that came in very quickly just on dark ,, with no gps on board , he became a major liability in being drunk , and of no help , but a huge hinderance in getting back in safely

about 8 boats got caught that same night , but we where the smallest at 3.9 metres , copped plenty of stick from people who made quick judgements about it

what i realised was that a drunk mate who weighed around 85kg,with heavy clothes on and shoes etc would be near on impossible to drag back into the boat if he had of fallen in , which he nearly did , and in the thick fog it would have been very easy to lose sight of him or ever find him if he had of got out of my sight once in water

made me take notice how a bad situation can sneak up on you while anchored in calm conditions with other boats around you , that lull you into a sense of all is good but it quickly can go pear shaped , so now we save the beers for the after retrieve and clean up once back on land

hezzy

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sea-kem's picture

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 Same Hezzy, always have a

Wed, 2018-06-20 08:54

 Same Hezzy, always have a bag full of beers on block ice waiting in the back of the car. Something to look forward to once the boat's on the trailer.

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Rob H's picture

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 That is great in principle,

Thu, 2018-06-21 00:19

 That is great in principle, and while commercial fishing I did similar.

But what about a 5 day trip to the islands?

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sea-kem's picture

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 Ahhh maybe you could have

Thu, 2018-06-21 05:30

 Ahhh maybe you could have them stored on the boat and jump off at the end of the day for just a couple ;) 

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hezzy's picture

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rob ?? would you ever be

Fri, 2018-06-22 11:13

rob ?? would you ever be that intoxicated over there ?? even on the moorings ??

if your moored or on the anchor like at islands or rotto ,and it is your temporary place or residence id think you would be fine

hezzy

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Darren253's picture

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I'll support it

Wed, 2018-06-20 09:03

We don't drink on the boat 95% of the time. I do like having a couple of pints at Rotto after a mornings fishing over lunch, but I've always got the car and trailer to drive home anyway so I limit myself to one or two unless we're staying on the island for a bit.

With kids onboard its dry! A 2 & 5yr old is nearly as bad as dealing with a drink person...

 

However, the fear of those whom have had way too much to drink, driving there 40ft gin lounges on autopilot is very real.

We also saw some smashed people doing the Mandurah Xmas lights this year... What a liability!

uncle's picture

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Theres the classic in todays west

Wed, 2018-06-20 10:36

 10 beers chops his mate up kills him, no f...king case to answer for!!

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Rob H's picture

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 Put simply like that it

Thu, 2018-06-21 00:24

 Put simply like that it sounds bad.

But if you read it, even his wife thought he may have got out the water and fallen back in.

Not at all defending the driver being slaughtered but without proof?

Similar to driving down the road after a couple, someone pulls out in front-is it automatically your fault because you were .051 and he wasn’t?

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 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...

 

 

The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.

 

uncle's picture

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Think if be hsd his time over

Thu, 2018-06-21 06:17

 He wouldn't  drink again  in that situation, 10 cans!

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Rob H's picture

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.

Thu, 2018-06-21 07:04

 Without a doubt at all...

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 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...

 

 

The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.

 

Paul_86's picture

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 I don’t have a problem with

Wed, 2018-06-20 11:14

 I don’t have a problem with this coming in, a beer or 2 during an evening snapper bash is quite enjoyable, you can stay under 0.05 and still able function properly and have a good time. But exceeding the limit as skipper becomes dangerous. 

 

An older boat owner said to me when I got my 1st boat, “If you drink too much and can’t drive your car you can get out and walk home, you can’t do that in a boat”. That really stuck with me and is a very valid point, you need to have your whits abour you at sea.

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got my full support. think

Wed, 2018-06-20 11:40

got my full support. think you need to make sure you are in a working mind when at sea especially. not only for your own safety, but also the other people out there. not to meniton how frustrating it would be for the rescue groups to have to get out there to help people just because of bad decisions brought on by alchohol.

Swompa's picture

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Still have to drive my car

Wed, 2018-06-20 11:44

Still have to drive my car when I get back to the ramp so not a big issue for me. I wonder how they will fund all of the extra police to conduct RBT's? Booze Flotel at the mouth of the river?

still trying's picture

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 When i was an apprentice my

Wed, 2018-06-20 13:13

 When i was an apprentice my boss was very high up at the south Perth yacht club and for 2-3 months after we were always very busy with plenty of overtime fixing all the drunk boateys bow rails etc from where they had hit either the jetty or each other. The rest of the year maybe 1 job a month for the same reason

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Coastrunner's picture

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No problem for me

Wed, 2018-06-20 14:22

 A couple of beers on the way back in is pretty much it these days for me, then hit it when home and washing down and filleting.

I rarely see the Water Police down here in Bunno.

ChrisG's picture

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 What’s the penalty going to

Wed, 2018-06-20 18:30

 What’s the penalty going to be? Demerits off your boat licence, demerits off your car, a fine, and if they fine you do they let you continue the offence to get back to the ramp or do they drive your boat?

Whether a good idea or not I Can’t see this being enforceable unless in a closed waterway or marina etc.

 

think we might find they set the limit so that if involved in an incident of damage or injury, they can say you’re  culpable regardless, because over the ‘limit’

 

think this will be a law of deterrent rather than enforcement like some of the other recent law changes recently introduced...passing a cyclist for instance 

if only a law designed to deter then what’s the point as only the sensible people will abide and those people don’t drink to excess anyway

 

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 I did wonder what happened

Wed, 2018-06-20 20:57

 I did wonder what happenes to the 60 footer west of Rotto and a pissed skipper with no one else capable...

little johnny's picture

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Only problem I have with it

Wed, 2018-06-20 19:01

Exactly what coast runner said . Few beers on way in. You can Finnish 1 light beer bang done( mouth alcohol) if tested not long after having it while fishing or on way in. Where does it go from there ? Do they jump on boat and drive you in ? Then drive you to police station for real test ? If way way over Agree. I can see boating fees going up and up. Is this because guy having a beer while catching occy from the rocks.? Can see benefits and down side. Be interesting:)

gillyL's picture

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 thats gonna take a few extra

Wed, 2018-06-20 19:09

 thats gonna take a few extra water police and vessels up and down the coast, i guess joe blow is going to have to pay for that out of his her fees. 

 

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little johnny's picture

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Classic for mon to Friday workers

Wed, 2018-06-20 19:30

Head out for pink fish . Anchored up for few hours ,few beers, Friday night sat night what ever it may be. Police boat pulls up ? Under anchor ? If it's going to happen do it at ramps , not on water. No dought iceman and other rescue people seen more than most. All I can see is boat people getting hit with more fees. Only my thoughts .

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I have no problem with it

Wed, 2018-06-20 23:45

Anyone who has been near the narrows bridge on Australia day and the following fire works will have seen what a dangerous situation it is with a myriad of boaties who have imbibed too much.
To see 30 ft plus boats speeding (doing over 5 knts) in amongst an area of boats of all sizes is very scary indeed.

This was some years back and is the main reason I stopped going to the event, now to a lessor extent admittedly the same thing is happening when people in their boats go up and down the canals at Christmas looking at all the houses lit up with Christmas lights.

Employing extra cops to police it, I don't think so they don't employ extra cops just for drink driving on our roads they just roster some of the traffic enforcement branch to booze bus duties and all cops can carry out breath and drug testing. So far as drop the anchor goes, if you are in a vehicle with the car keys in your possession be the vehicle stopped, parked, crashed or other wise and you blow over the limit to what ever degree you are going to be booked, no ifs no buts and that's the law. I think that is what will happen with boaties so there will be consistency with the laws.
Not fit to drive the boat from where you are booked, hmmm good question, but I bet the answer is just as good. Like jump into the boat with the blue flashing light and we will tow your boat to where we have a booze bus waiting in a marine launching facility or harbour, just a guess on my part.

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Wont affect me

Thu, 2018-06-21 06:38

Won't affect me, don't drink on boats at all.

Seen plenty of idiots on the river full of piss though. Personally think it is a good idea, especially on the rivers and around and in the ski areas.

sea-kem's picture

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 That's where it needs to be

Thu, 2018-06-21 07:08

 That's where it needs to be targeted, where there are people in the water safety is paramount.

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Jackfrost80's picture

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Agree there. We might even

Thu, 2018-06-21 07:37

Agree there. We might even see Water Police start patrolling upstream of the prominent yacht clubs.

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rob90's picture

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 I feel that the act of

Thu, 2018-06-21 07:44

 I feel that the act of having a drink on the water in nice conditions is the relaxing part no need to be geting pissed. Can simply be mid strength or just something you like to drink not necessarily alcohol, getting pissed isn't relaxing. Enjoying a bevvie with mates on the water is. Then when your at home cleaning and your bragging to the neighbors go for it. I support it all the way.

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Cruise Control's picture

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 Errr . . . . What about

Thu, 2018-06-21 11:30

 Errr . . . . What about boats moored up at Rotto for a week or two. No drinking ? Understand when underway but when at anchor or moored ? Mr Plod would have a field day out there.

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 i feel if your the skipper

Thu, 2018-06-21 13:25

 i feel if your the skipper of a boat you should be free of alcahol. i generally dont allow alcahol on my boat but if i do its only a couple of beers if a guest fisho wanted to have a drink out there. imo booze and boats dont mix. 

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Jackfrost80's picture

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My mate's dad was lecturing

Fri, 2018-06-22 15:37

My mate's dad was lecturing me on the same thing i.e. no beer on boats when we were watching the Eagles play. Anyway after he polished off his 6 pack and a glass of red he jumps in his car after the game and drives home. I was bemused to say the least.

 

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 Well we will have to all

Thu, 2018-06-21 14:17

 Well we will have to all wait untill new legislation is drafted. Until then we are just guessing.

At the moment it is

It is an offence to operate a vessel while affected by alcohol or drugs to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vessel, Section 59(2) of the Western Australian Marine Act 1982.

 

So no limit and no powers of breath testing.

 

My best guess it will be in line with motor vehicle alcohol limits, and only apply while the vessel is underway (not at anchor, moored, or alongside a jetty).


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Just an after thought

Thu, 2018-06-21 23:09

I do presume that the new legislation will cover all vessels and not just those power driven, I've seen plenty of yachties that needed to be breathalysed, a large yacht not under a sober skipper is a very frightening thing and you only have to be watching the Wednesday twilight races to see a few skippers who have taken having a social drink to a whole new level

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.

Fri, 2018-06-22 07:43

 I see this as a watering down of our civil liberties though it is hard to argue against “public safety” laws. Though an argument can be made that it is far more dangerous to drive at 110kph than 80kph so therefore with the same reasoning we should have a maximum speed limit of 80kph. 

I also see a lot of grey areas and difficulties with people being deemed in control or skipper of a vessel. Some may argue that if a vessel is moored the skipper shouldn’t be subject to breath testing but what about when he/she takes the tender to land? Also what about if you are anchored? You are still the skipper and may be required to reposition the vessel in event of a wind change or anchor dragging.

Also if you are the skipper and having enough beers to blow over but someone else is operating the vessel that is sober where does that stand? I just see a can of worms. 

I think to enforce/promote less drinking in boats the Po-Po should operate within existing laws and make a few blitzes or very public displays of authority at the boat ramps and breatho people retrieving their boats. 

sea-kem's picture

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 Honestly mate a watering

Fri, 2018-06-22 13:32

 Honestly mate a watering down of our civil liberties?? This is not about freedom it's about keeping people safe from killing others through stupidity.

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Sorry

Fri, 2018-06-22 15:19

 apologies for the hyperbole but I like things the way they are. 

ranmar850's picture

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It'll probably never happen.

Fri, 2018-06-22 12:36

 I see this as a watering down of our civil liberties   Unquote  yeah, a lot of people were saying that when they brought in breathos and RBT, too.  Like, it is my bloody  right as an Australian to get half cut and then operate machinery, bloody pollies taking away our freedoms, thin edge of the wedge, mutter, mutter, ....

BTW, I'm not accusing you, Jutty,  of taking that line, but you did and still do hear it.  Anyway, I wouldn't get to exercised about it, plenty of talk on ABC regional yesterday morning about it, and everyone agrees that we just don't have the resources. Lisa Harvey was asked why it was not introduced during the term of the last government, and she replied that Transport couldn't give her any statistics that showed it was actually a problem. 

So with limited resources, and government belt tightening, unlikely to happen in any meaningful way. Maximum fine for operating a vessel under the influence in this state is $1000. but it doesn't have a BAC number attached to it currently, from what I heard yesterday.

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Date Joined: 17/01/12

.

Fri, 2018-06-22 13:38

 You proved my point it’s hard to argue against but where does it stop? The bloke moored, anchored, rowing his tender or using a outboard. I’m not advocating getting drunk to the point of falling over but I feel having a few sherbets on the boat is one of life’s simple pleasures. If this does get over the line there I can see a lot of wives, kids or partners getting skippers tickets which is a good thing. Will there be an improvement in marine safety or just more rules regulations and hoops to jump through. 

IncognitOh's picture

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Intersting discussion

Tue, 2018-07-03 12:25

Thanks guys, it's been an interesting discussion.

It would seem from your experiences that most of you would be in favour of new legislation.

Almost all of my boating activities are blue water activities and therefore I fortunately do not get to experience the alcohol affected boaties that lots of you guys have experienced. I was a bit naive to think the problem is not so bad.

From memory ( I cannot locate the original article) the article was advocating for random breath testing of boaties. This is really what I personally take exception to, as it seems most of us do the right thing and this initiative will do little to make waterways safer.

What I think we should be lobbying for is enforcement or strengthening of existing legislation; that is, punish those harshly, that defy existing laws and include "with cause" breath and blood testing in current legislation -  Sec 59 WA Marine Safety Act 1982. Get rid of the out dated visual impairement test that is almost impossible to prove and use the modern technology available. Remember, it is already against the law to operate a vessel in an unsafe, reckless or negligent manner or to navigate or attempt to navigate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control.

Whatever changes are made, it will likely require a significant increase in resources to be efective and that will mean additional costs for boaties. Is the problem significant enough for us to accept an increase in boat rego and fees to cover the costs?

By all means, I have no problem with a legal limit of 0.05 or whatever is deemed appropriate but, instead of random testing, go for the "with cause" option and leave those that are doing the right thing alone to enjoy their water activities.

 

Thats my take anyway 

 

Safe navigating!

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 That made the most sense

Tue, 2018-07-03 13:08

 That made the most sense Incognitoh yet couldnt agree more a balance of comon sense and not treating everyone as a drunken skipper for just enjoying alcohol in moderation ,we are not all drunk bogans and shouldnt be treated as such 

Daniel Westerduin's picture

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Date Joined: 30/10/06

 I watched a video on one of

Tue, 2018-07-03 15:35

 I watched a video on one of the fishing forums recently of a bunch of fishos catching some good fish, but most of them were plastered and even stumbling and falling over. Most comments were congratulations on the good fishing and good times they were having but not much on how they intended getting home. Another incident I was just about to launch at a boatramp and two fishos came back after an overnighter and both were plastered/stumbling and a stubby each in their hand while at the ramp. They then got in their car and drove off towing their 7m boat. In the warmer months it is fairly common and I agree it should be policed to some degree. Not sure about boats moored up though.