Encl. (2) to COMDTINST 16750.8A
(Cases involving criminally negligent operation or operating a vessel while
intoxicated are complicated to prosecute in Federal court and the Coast Guard civil
penalty process can be time-consuming. Hence, State criminal prosecution offers
many advantages in promoting safe boating. In other situations, the Federal penalty
will be more in line with the facts of the case and it may serve justice to prosecute
the case in Federal courts. In either case, close cooperation is needed to fully satisfy
the requirement to enhance boating safety.)
Boating Under the Influence.
A common goal of the Coast Guard and the State is to rid the waterways of boaters
operating under the influence of alcohol or a dangerous drug in violation of a law of
the United States. To this end, the State and the Coast Guard agree to coordinate
their Boating Under the Influence (BUI) enforcement efforts so that the most
effective enforcement option is executed in each case, and each will encourage the
establishment of mutual assistance and cooperative agreements between Coast
Guard and State law enforcement officials operating in the same area.
In the course of normal operations, the Coast Guard may detect a boat operator
suspected of BUI within State waters where concurrent jurisdiction exists. When
this occurs, the Coast Guard may administer field sobriety tests to the operator,
including a chemical analysis of the operator's breath if this is within State
guidelines for prosecution.
If the operator is alone and believed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
the Coast Guard will:
Attempt to notify State enforcement officials, terminate the voyage and bring
the vessel to the nearest safe mooring where a telephone is available. Ensure
an operator under the influence does not operate a vessel (in order to resolve
the threat of harm to self and others).
Document the case completely for whichever jurisdictional prosecution is
followed (State arrest, Federal arrest or civil penalty).
Discuss enforcement options available for the particular case with State
Make a determination of which option(s) to select and proceed with