Ohio law will restrict boardings

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After a short Lake Erie walleye fishing trip on the annual Governor’s Fish Ohio Day, Gov. John Kasich took time out for lunch last week and to sign the Boater Freedom Act.

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.

Lake Erie Marine Trades Association president Ken Alvey told the website the random stops had hurt tourism, fishing and boating in general.

Click here for the full report.


One comment on “Ohio law will restrict boardings

  1. enginecom

    We call them the rentacops. Those agencies who are bored silly out on the boating days to harass boaters and their families. All states should enact legislation to prevent abuse of their boarding authority. Under US customs laws dating back to the beginning federal agencies have the ability to board and search boats without reason. The 4th amendment does not protect boats on the water. This must change. I commend Gov Kasich for stepping up and putting into law a measure to limit government intrusions. Dealers and commercial boats actually are treated worse than recreational boaters.

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