USCG Proposed Rulemaking

The United States Coast Guard has an ongoing obligation to promote boating safety and to propose laws which will make boating a safer sport. Since they are a governmental agency, you – the consumer and tax payer, have the right to chime in with your comments on proposed legislation. The following are two recent additions to the Federal Register which call for your comments. For additional information and to make comments you can go to the USCGÂ’s website at uscgboating.org.

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Revision to Federal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Standard for Recreational Vessel Operators
AGENCY: Coast Guard, DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.
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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to revise the Federal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) standard under which a recreational vessel operator would be considered operating while “intoxicated”. For recreational vessel operators, the proposed rule would lower the current Federal BAC threshold from .10 BAC to .08 BAC. This change is appropriate because boating accident statistics show that alcohol use remains a significant cause of recreational boating deaths and because we support a trend in State recreational boating laws toward the .08 BAC standard. Further, the proposed Federal BAC standard will not supercede or preempt any enacted State BAC standard. Additionally, the proposed rule would replace the term “intoxicated” with the phrase “under the influence of alcohol or a dangerous drug”. This change would bring the regulations into conformance with current statutory language. The proposed rule is expected to reduce the number of recreational boating deaths and injuries resulting from accidents caused by operators under the influence of alcohol or a dangerous drug.

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Federal Requirements To Carry Ground Tackle on Recreational Vessels
AGENCY: Coast Guard, DOT.
ACTION: Notice of petition for rulemaking and request for comments.
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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard seeks comments from interested people, groups and businesses in response to a petition for rulemaking submitted by the National Boating Federation (NBF). The petition requests that the Coast Guard require that all recreational vessels in the United States carry proper anchoring gear and that the gear be in useable condition. Currently, Federal regulations do not require that ground tackle (anchor and line or chain) be carried on recreational vessels as safety equipment. This notice describes the Coast Guard’s policy for establishing National minimum safety equipment carriage requirements for recreational vessels, and related issues, to assist interested persons with providing helpful comments as to whether the Coast Guard should initiate a regulatory project.

 

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