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Coast Guard cites 5 more for BUI

Published in the Asbury Park Press 06/17/05
STAFF REPORT



Five more boaters were cited for boating under the influence last weekend, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Manasquan Inlet Station.

Those cited were: Capt. Keith Norris, 49, Point Pleasant; Albert Endurato, 49, Pennington;Anthony Buttino, 40, Point Pleasant; Christoph Bonavita, 35, Brick, and Michael Agar, 44, of Point Pleasant. They were also cited for negligent operations during random boardings, which occurred during routine Coast Guard patrols.

The federal blood-alcohol limit is .08. The boaters were taken off the water and face civil penalties of up to $1,000, or criminal penalties of up to $5,000, a year in prison, or both.

They also face the possible loss of their New Jersey motor vehicle driving privileges.
 

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I am not an angel. In my youth I made a few poor decisions. Thank God I am around today. I am 38 years old. Today I would never be drunk and opperate a car or boat. A person who is 49 should know better. I have no pity for this person.
 

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are there any lawyers on this site that can recomend how to handle this situation? i ask because there are many people out there who might have a beer or two and blow .08. do the police perform a sobriety test on the vessel? if you refuse to leave your vessel can they remove you? do the sobriety tests take into account equilibrium problems that may arise from being out on the water all day? etc etc etc
 

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Hemp, they don't give you a sobriety test. They have hand held brethalizers. I've been stopped before. Had to blow. Never so happy to see zero's. Not that I was worried. And By the way the BAC for a licensed Capt is .04.
 

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Hemp3...It would have to be a miracle to blow a .08 with only one or two beers. Now after 1-2 beers and an accident or VERY eratic boating or negligent operations...they MIGHT make a BWI stick...but not likely.

What you describe with equilibrium problems along with dehydration, fatigue, etc...etc is why drinking and boating can be a tricky combo.

Be smart out there....
 

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I was told by a lawyer to never blow into one of the machines always to ask for a blood test. How would this work if you were on the water? What happens if you refuse to blow and demand a blood test?

He told me in particular that my breath may say .08 but weighing in just over 300 pounds that my blood alchol reading could be considerably lower? Don't know of the validity to this. Anyone?
 

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i aggree. personally, i f i am running the boat i wait till we are back and the engines are up before i crack a cold one. if my father is running he does the same. he has a tendency to order the lines in at exactly 4pm every time he is running the boat.
i do ask, however, because people can really get themselves into an expensive pickle if they are not aware of how to handle themselves in a questionable situation. far too often people make critical mistakes that leave them with a ticket. basically if there is any alcihol at all on your breath my guess would be that they are going to run the full run of tests on you.
boat safe
 

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bottom,
i have heard that if you take a sip of beer and blow, it will register even though your bac is 0.0000001. i believe that the police are supposed to wait 1/2 hour from you last drink to insure the reading comes from you lungs and not the residual alcohol that may remain in your mouth.
if anyone knows if that is actually true please chime in.
 

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Yeah, not a good idea to operate a car under the influence let alone a boat! What really pisses me off is I don't drink at all when I'm running the boat, then I get to watch the crew toss em down like it's candy all day, then when we get back to the dock and I can't even have a drink then because I have to wash and dry the boat and clean all the fish myself because the crew allways to tends to stumble off to either get more beer, blab their mouths to the dock dorks, or go pass out somewhere! This kind of stuff really annoys the heck out of me!

[ 06-17-2005, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: CaptG ]
 

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G!
You've got the wrong crew! I drink but never shirk my duties upon arriving to the dock. I always help clean the boat and fish that's just part of being a good crew member.

I guess I am lucky having a small boat. But even then I make sure those who went out with me help out at least a little like rinsing poles and putting stuff back in the truck.

If you ever need a real helper to teach your crew give me a call I'll come down and whip them into shape for you ;)
 

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Thanks BB, if I ever get the work on the boat done, I will get you out! It's only when my brother takes his dimwitted friends along that I have these problems, otherwise the crew is usually up to par. Stick w/ the small boat BB, less work, more fishing time!
 

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I do quite a bit of DUI law. An .08 would be more than 2 beers for anyone over 100lbs. Doing a sobriety test on a boat is virtually impossible. As a general caveat, always be sure to point out any injuries or disabilities prior to any field sobriety test. For example, anyone more than 50lbs overweight should not be required to perform many of the more physical tests. Results are too unreliable.

I would also ask for a blood test rather than a less accurate breathalizer. Also if one was on the cusp of .08, the extra time would help. It is required that there is a 30 minute gap between the last drink and testing. This is supposedly due to raw alcohol in the mouth causing unnaturally high readings. However every study I've seen indicates that raw alcohol has no effect.
 

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I remember an AC Press newspaper article about 20 years ago where a group on an ocean fishing charter drank so much that when they didn't catch fish they threw the boat captain overboard. He was picked up by another passing boat. I believe the group was from GE and this occurred off LBI?? They were prosecuted, but I don't remember the details.
 

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Originally posted by BottomBouncer:
I was told by a lawyer to never blow into one of the machines always to ask for a blood test. How would this work if you were on the water? What happens if you refuse to blow and demand a blood test?

He told me in particular that my breath may say .08 but weighing in just over 300 pounds that my blood alchol reading could be considerably lower? Don't know of the validity to this. Anyone?
Thats actually bad advice. If you refuse to blow into the breathalizer, the jury will be told that you refused to take the test and the judge will instruct the jury that they can consider your refusal as evidence of your guilt.
Also, if the breathalizer was taken, your chances are better to beat the system. THere is a discrepancy that the breathalizers are not as accurate as people think. A lawyer will use the blown number(.08) and argue that its too close to the actual legal limit considered intoxicated. So really, your chances are better taking the breath test. Where the latter results in an admission of guilt.
 

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How could that be? I am not refusing to be tested just refusing that method. They way I understood, it was my right to have a blood test done because of the inaccuracies in the blowing method. I am not admidting guilt just that I want an accurate reading? Right? or Wrong? Any lawyers out there? Yo Muldoon can you chime in on this?
 

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I dont do DUI law as tautog does, but I have a question or two. If you "refuse" a breathalyzer and demand blood testing - can you be charged under the refusal statute which carries the same penalties (ie loss of license) as DUI? Is the federal DUI statute similar to NJ state law?

My thoughts are that the Coast Guard are not the police. They are the military. If you want to refuse to leave your boat, act noncompliant, question their authority, and make demands, then they can do whatever they deem necessary to control that situation.

I find that Yes Sir, No Sir, Thank you Sir go a long way.

Where I fish in OC it is so damn crowded anymore that I am scared to even drink a beer - I need all of my reflexes intact to avoid all the Sea Rays, Jetskis and miscellaneous idiots on the water. The Coasties are a welcome sight!!
 
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