What do you think of proposed limits to boat searches?

State Reps. Dennis Murray, D-Sandusky, and Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, have introduced a law calling for law enforcement officers to stop boats only when there’s reasonable suspicion the boat or its passengers are violating a law or engaging in criminal activity. What do you think of the proposal?

I like it. It protects boaters from unwarranted search and seizure.
72% (31 votes)
I'm not sure. Innocent people shouldn't be stopped, but won't this hurt law enforcement efforts?
9% (4 votes)
This is a bad idea. Officers should be given rights to protect the public, especially on an international border.
19% (8 votes)
Total votes: 43



I'll repeat what I said on the other article. Too bad this will only apply to local law enforcement. All of the Feds will still have free reign to stop as many as they want, as often as they want for no reason. I applaud the local legistlators for at least trying to protect our Fourth Ammendment rights:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."


These limits are unnecessary. The "right of the people to be secure" That includes those that abide by boating laws also right? Safe from the drunks...right? If you don't want law enforcement on your boats, don't call them when you are sitting on the breakwall or just about to drown! Cry babies!!


Really? REALLY??? So, which OTHER of your unalienable rights are you inclined to give up under the guise of safety, hmmm? Free speech, perhaps? That can potentially incite riots, you know! The right to keep and bear arms? Oh, I know: The POLICE will protect you! They can be there in a matter of MINUTES when you only have SECONDS to live! How about the right not to testify against yourself? Or the right to a speedy trial if that unwarranted boat search comes up with some charge or another?

I can pervert the limitations on government for any of these rights in such a way that it will at least give the appearance of some (dubious, but still) added security. But I won't. The question is: Will YOU?


Cry me a river Sam!


How would you feel if you were pulled over in your car for a "complimentary safety inspection" whenever law enforcement wanted to?

We have too many agencies with overlapping juristictions on the water all trying to justify their own existence.

Boating is expensive, boats get fuel economies in the single digits. 1-2 mpg. Plus the cost of boats, training, equipment, etc isn't cheap.

We live in a nation where the public tax dollars pay for all of these overlapping services whether it's at the Federal, State, County, or local level, it's all paid for by taxes. Having the following agencies all patrolling the Sandusky Bay and surrounding Lake Eriew waters is uncalled for: Coast Guard, Customs and Border Patrol, ODNR, Fish and Wildlife, Erie County Sheriff, Ottawa County Sheriff, Sandusky Police. I'm sure I missed a couple.

I get frustrated everytime I see the Sandusky Police boat out patrolling the open lake waters outside of Cedar Point down to the Point Retreat Condos. Normally its done on really nice days when they are out for "joyrides". Thanks for spending my tax money well.


Have you ever heard of DWB? Have you ever experienced it? I have. Quit crying. Dry it up! We also live in a nation of laws. That means YOU have to follow them also. Your tax dollars....blah, blah, blah. Give it a rest. Yes, I pay taxes also!

BW1's picture

By that reasoning, you should be happy with the police pulling you over 4 times on the way to work, or busting down your door twice a week, to search for drugs, etc. under the guise of checking your airbags or smoke detectors or else not be able to call them when you're robbed or call the fire department when your house is burning or an ambulance when you are injured.

Swamp Fox

At the end of the day the courts are the ones who interpret and make case law on all search issues. Murray & Damschroder are grandstanding for election day knowing full well this will never see the light of day or have any effect on the Federal Coast Guard inspection/searches...

Swamp Fox

If by some far fetched reason the state does change the law on stopping boats, the State Watercraft Officers will only have to have a Federal Coast Guard officer on board to stop and inspect/search under Federal authority. Great example of state reps in an election years introducing bills for political gain and little else...

Phil Packer

I just think it's too dangerous to stop people out on the water. Check them at the dock.


It's coming folks,next will be the house and they are already searching you at airports.Can't you see why history repeats it self.I can't mention the person because it would be a Copyright Infringement,but in 1937 someone said,"If I were the devil and wanted to destroy this country I could do it without firing a shot.I would start in the schools,bring down the bible,promote sex,get control of the citizens,take away their weapons,etc"Guess what,surprise,surprise !

Phil Packer

The Devil is cool!


How are you going ro catch criminals, much less terrorists, if you can'y search ?

Mr. D

Boarding a vessel for a safety inspection is nothing new since maritime laws have been in existance for a few centuries. These are not searches, but rather inspections for proper safety equipment. Most agencies stop a boat for an operational violation and then conduct an inspection. Police agencies also will ask passing boaters if they would like to have a safety inspection done on their boat as a courtesy. In the majority of instances warnings are given as opposed to citations. The majority of those complaining are probably wanna be boaters who feel embarrassed when they learn (in front of their friends on their boat) that they are operatiing without proper or adequit safety equipment and have actually put their passengers in danger. Deflating egos of wanna be boaters always create a pitiful sounding whine.