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Regency Tim

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Got stopped this weekend by Mohave County Sheriff in the channel for a person moving from one seat to another on our pontoon boat. Cited 5-341.C. Obstructing driver view. Never heard of this before in all my years of boating. Class 2 misdemeanor. Anyone else know about this law? Must appear in court. Not just a fine. Any advise or thoughts?
 

DarkHorseRacing

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That’s good to know because I’ve got passengers that love to stand up while we are in the channel. Granted they can grab the overhead tower bars but they are still standing up.

At least I can give them a good reason to sit down now.
 

DarkHorseRacing

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Got stopped this weekend by Mohave County Sheriff in the channel for a person moving from one seat to another on our pontoon boat. Cited 5-341.C. Obstructing driver view. Never heard of this before in all my years of boating. Class 2 misdemeanor. Anyone else know about this law? Must appear in court. Not just a fine. Any advise or thoughts?
Here’s the actual statute:

C. No watercraft shall be operated with a passenger or passengers on the bow in such a manner as to obstruct the view of the operator.

You could maybe make the argument that a pontoon boat is not the same as a bow of a regular boat and the passenger area is the entire pontoon.

Seems pretty petty to be cited for that when it’s not really the meaning of the statute (keeping people off the bow of a boat that probably isn’t meant as a seating area).
 

C-Ya

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Got stopped this weekend by Mohave County Sheriff in the channel for a person moving from one seat to another on our pontoon boat. Cited 5-341.C. Obstructing driver view. Never heard of this before in all my years of boating. Class 2 misdemeanor. Anyone else know about this law? Must appear in court. Not just a fine. Any advise or thoughts?
I tried looking it up. Couldn’t find the “C” portion.

Can you give more details?

It appears that 5-341 is a serous charge. Here is what I did find.

Amusements and Sports § 5-341. Negligent operation of watercraft or water skis; restriction in operation of watercraft; violation; classification. A. No person shall operate a watercraft in a careless, reckless or negligent manner.
 

DarkHorseRacing

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I tried looking it up. Couldn’t find the “C” portion.

Can you give more details?

It appears that 5-341 is a serous charge. Here is what I did find.

Amusements and Sports § 5-341. Negligent operation of watercraft or water skis; restriction in operation of watercraft; violation; classification. A. No person shall operate a watercraft in a careless, reckless or negligent manner.
Here’s the whole thing:

5-341. Negligent operation of watercraft or water skis; restriction in operation of watercraft; violation; classification

A. No person shall operate a watercraft in a careless, reckless or negligent manner.

B. A person shall not operate a watercraft while allowing a person to ride on the gunwales, the transom or the decked over bow of a watercraft propelled by machinery operating in excess of wakeless speed except if:

1. That portion of the watercraft was designed and constructed for the purpose of carrying passengers at all speeds.

2. The watercraft is being maneuvered for anchoring, mooring or casting off moorings.

C. No watercraft shall be operated with a passenger or passengers on the bow in such a manner as to obstruct the view of the operator.

D. No person on water skis, a surfboard or a similar contrivance shall behave in a careless, reckless or negligent manner.

E. Except in case of emergency no person under the age of twelve years may operate a watercraft propelled by a motor of greater than eight horsepower unless the person's parent or legal guardian or at least one person who is eighteen years of age or older is present on the watercraft.

F. Except as provided in subsection E, it is unlawful for any person to allow another person under the age of twelve to operate a motor-powered watercraft.

G. A person violating subsection A, B, C or D is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.
 

Racey

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Here’s the actual statute:

C. No watercraft shall be operated with a passenger or passengers on the bow in such a manner as to obstruct the view of the operator.

You could maybe make the argument that a pontoon boat is not the same as a bow of a regular boat and the passenger area is the entire pontoon.

Seems pretty petty to be cited for that when it’s not really the meaning of the statute (keeping people off the bow of a boat that probably isn’t meant as a seating area).

"On" the bow.

This was incredibly mis-applied for a pontoon boat.

Glad the cops are out there busting the bad guys. 🤦‍♂️
 

C-Ya

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Right. Got the old sobriety test. Good there at least
Give us more details?

How many on boat?
What size boat?
Did your group look like hood rats? lol
Why do you think that L.E. attention got fixated on your boat?
Did L.E. Give you a lecture, rationalizing their ticket? (Copsplaining) lol

FWIW……… I get passengers all the time that will stand right in front of my line of sight. It’s no big deal.
 

sirbob

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The issue isn't being "on the bow" its obstructing the drivers view...
 

GreenEnergy28

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I had heard of this a long time ago. Last year I had a passenger stand up on the bow (deck boat) and started dancing while going through the gorge. I saw LEO coming the other way, so I turned down the music and told her she needed to be seated while the boat was in motion. The LEO's were giving me the eye as they went by. They ended up pulling the boat behind me over for something, so I kept on rolling along.
My wife questioned me about that law. I don't know where I had heard it over the years, but I know it is a reason to be pulled over and have always tried to keep my passengers seated. Especially on busy weekends.
 

hallett21

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Got stopped this weekend by Mohave County Sheriff in the channel for a person moving from one seat to another on our pontoon boat. Cited 5-341.C. Obstructing driver view. Never heard of this before in all my years of boating. Class 2 misdemeanor. Anyone else know about this law? Must appear in court. Not just a fine. Any advise or thoughts?

Was the citation issued to the driver/captain? Or to the person obstructing the view?

I’d ask the officer to cite exactly what happened from start to finish if you have to actually go to court.

Ask an attorney but I’m pretty sure you can’t prove “obstruction of the drivers view”. Only the driver can answer that. Similar to proving eye contact etc.
 

WYRD

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"On" the bow.

This was incredibly mis-applied for a pontoon boat.

Glad the cops are out there busting the bad guys. 🤦‍♂️
The bow is the entire front section of the boat, any boat. If the op is stating correctly that it was a simple seat change then it was Imo pretty trivial charge but if the passenger was dancing partying not paying attention and actually blocking the view of the driver in a crowded Channel then I think it was a meaningful citation.
 

hallett21

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The bow is the entire front section of the boat, any boat. If the op is stating correctly that it was a simple seat change then it was Imo pretty trivial charge but if the passenger was dancing partying not paying attention and actually blocking the view of the driver in a crowded Channel then I think it was a meaningful citation.

You still gotta prove that the driver’s view was obstructed.

What if the drivers helm is 6ft higher than the deck? Then it litterally doesn’t matter lol.
 

Regency Tim

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Give us more details?

How many on boat?
What size boat?
Did your group look like hood rats? lol
Why do you think that L.E. attention got fixated on your boat?
Did L.E. Give you a lecture, rationalizing their ticket? (Copsplaining) lol

FWIW……… I get passengers all the time that will stand right in front of my line of sight. It’s no big deal.
27' Tri-toon. 6 total people. 4 55 plus yr olds and 2 25 yr olds. Not sure why they looked at us. 7:30 at night and i'm sure hoping to catch a drunk. First thing out of his mouth was obstruction of view and that class 2 and he could take me to jail.
 

DarkHorseRacing

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You still gotta prove that the driver’s view was obstructed.

What if the drivers helm is 6ft higher than the deck? Then it litterally doesn’t matter lol.
Maybe to the LEO point, they couldn’t see the driver so to them it was obstructing their view of the driver so the driver couldn’t see them either?
 

hallett21

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27' Tri-toon. 6 total people. 4 55 plus yr olds and 2 25 yr olds. Not sure why they looked at us. 7:30 at night and i'm sure hoping to catch a drunk. First thing out of his mouth was obstruction of view and that class 2 and he could take me to jail.
Take Barney to court if that’s the case
 

Regency Tim

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Was the citation issued to the driver/captain? Or to the person obstructing the view?

I’d ask the officer to cite exactly what happened from start to finish if you have to actually go to court.

Ask an attorney but I’m pretty sure you can’t prove “obstruction of the drivers view”. Only the driver can answer that. Similar to proving eye contact etc.
My boat and I was driving. I got the citation. Didn't know that was a thing and how to you keep a person from popping up and pulling his wedgy out
 

hallett21

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Maybe to the LEO point, they couldn’t see the driver so to them it was obstructing their view of the driver so the driver couldn’t see them either?

Which would be based upon their height, boat deck height vs the operators height, his helm height etc etc.

I’m absolutely pro LEO. But people need to be called out through the system of justice when they try to skirt the rules.

If it’s a legit pull over and citation then you (officer) should be able to back it up in court.

Let’s assume the officer just wanted to make sure the driver was sober, couldn’t you just say you had an obstructed view. Test the driver, and move on?
 

Regency Tim

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The bow is the entire front section of the boat, any boat. If the op is stating correctly that it was a simple seat change then it was Imo pretty trivial charge but if the passenger was dancing partying not paying attention and actually blocking the view of the driver in a crowded Channel then I think it was a meaningful citation.
No dancing and partying
 

C-Ya

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27' Tri-toon. 6 total people. 4 55 plus yr olds and 2 25 yr olds. Not sure why they looked at us. 7:30 at night and i'm sure hoping to catch a drunk. First thing out of his mouth was obstruction of view and that class 2 and he could take me to jail.
Thank you for reminding me why I no longer liked boating at Havasu and Parker. It’s one of the reasons why I moved to Florida. The saturation enforcement gets old.

I’ve been stopped one time in Florida for a “safety inspection“ by the coast guard. However, they never checked for a single piece of safety equipment. I was instantly separated from my passengers, while they probed my guests with a myriad of questions about being on an illegal charter. They were hoping to level a $57,000 fine on me. Even though I had my license on me, I wasn’t doing a charter. I just happened to have 6 lawyers on the boat, while I had a swimsuit on. They profiled me! lol I picked up my wife and her friends from a legal convention in Fort Lauderdale. I am sure it looked like a charter. The CG guy was so disappointed! lol
 

evantwheeler

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The issue isn't being "on the bow" its obstructing the drivers view...
No, the issue is fucking power tripping LE writing bullshit tickets instead of serving and protecting. Pretty easy to do your safety checks, sobriety test, and send the fine folks along to enjoy the rest of their evening/weekend without the ticket.
 

Regency Tim

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No, the issue is fucking power tripping LE writing bullshit tickets instead of serving and protecting. Pretty easy to do your safety checks, sobriety test, and send the fine folks along to enjoy the rest of their evening/weekend without the ticket.
That's what I thought. Never checked my boat for proper equipment. Pulled me pretty quick onto their boat for my sobriety check.
 

WYRD

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That's what I thought. Never checked my boat for proper equipment. Pulled me pretty quick onto their boat for my sobriety check.
Weird deal. There’s all kinds of shit going on every weekend in the channel. Usually takes a lot to get popped. Did you have a Biden flag up?
Kind of my thought too. Officer might have just had a bad day but typically if you're not the problem child they let you go once they verify that. Been given many warnings over the years on the water don't think I've ever received a citation.
 

DWC

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Kind of my thought too. Officer might have just had a bad day but typically if you're not the problem child they let you go once they verify that. Been given many warnings over the years on the water don't think I've ever received a citation.
Weird deal all around. They seem to love the scramble for all the safety stuff. Gotta be entertaining as hell for them to see people looking for throw cushions. I’ve never had a bad experience though. Show them what they’re asking for and it’s all good. They’ve always been respectful.
 

HBCraig

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Here’s the whole thing:

5-341. Negligent operation of watercraft or water skis; restriction in operation of watercraft; violation; classification

A. No person shall operate a watercraft in a careless, reckless or negligent manner.

B. A person shall not operate a watercraft while allowing a person to ride on the gunwales, the transom or the decked over bow of a watercraft propelled by machinery operating in excess of wakeless speed except if:

1. That portion of the watercraft was designed and constructed for the purpose of carrying passengers at all speeds.

2. The watercraft is being maneuvered for anchoring, mooring or casting off moorings.

C. No watercraft shall be operated with a passenger or passengers on the bow in such a manner as to obstruct the view of the operator.

D. No person on water skis, a surfboard or a similar contrivance shall behave in a careless, reckless or negligent manner.

E. Except in case of emergency no person under the age of twelve years may operate a watercraft propelled by a motor of greater than eight horsepower unless the person's parent or legal guardian or at least one person who is eighteen years of age or older is present on the watercraft.

F. Except as provided in subsection E, it is unlawful for any person to allow another person under the age of twelve to operate a motor-powered watercraft.

G. A person violating subsection A, B, C or D is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.
Item B, no riding on the transom.
I have seen so many young women on the transom. It's crazy
Have the cop tune into The Qualified Captain. He will need a hard restart after he sees the shit on that site
 

gmnhra

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Labor Day a few years back
Bennington pontoon with the "flip seat back" in rear. coming into Thompson Bay barney lights me up..
Two adults were sitting on the rear seat ,,,full railings....barney says not legal "transom riding...WTF
No day to argue...it was definitely a "safety check"

Had to appear in court...If you pled not guilty you had to come back...i listened to two others with same ticket....plead guilty=$300 fine

I had no interest in coming back pled no contest and paid $300
 

Ziggy

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So it was Mohave Sheriff leo and not the twice a year "other" agencies, eh?
I'd almost guess it wasn't a regular water cop but a street cop working holiday pay OT who brushed up on a few key violations he can utilize to hunt out oui offenders.
 

Racedirt

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They must get tickets every day they operate according to the leo's logic.

Tiki Boat.png
 
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Icky

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Right. I need pics like this and maybe of some of the patrol boats with an officer standing in front
Pretty sure there's video from the TV show they used to film out there.
 

coolchange

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Here’s the whole thing:

5-341. Negligent operation of watercraft or water skis; restriction in operation of watercraft; violation; classification

A. of wakeless speed except if:

2. The watercraft is being maneuvered for anchoring, mooring or casting off moorings.
Weren’t you in the channel at wakeless speed looking for your mooring?
Find out if this &@@@ was an OT not boat cop hire. That’s BS
 

Kurt96

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Got stopped this weekend by Mohave County Sheriff in the channel for a person moving from one seat to another on our pontoon boat. Cited 5-341.C. Obstructing driver view. Never heard of this before in all my years of boating. Class 2 misdemeanor. Anyone else know about this law? Must appear in court. Not just a fine. Any advise or thoughts?
I just had to go to court for a class 2 misdemeanor. Won’t get into the details, but it was just as dumb as what you got cited for.

Unfortunately you can’t plead your case. You show up and either plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, you go to trial and need a lawyer and more time/money.

I ended up pleading guilty and taking a $92 fine. My charge was for a stupid off-roading violation, but a few others in the court room had boating violations that were similar to yours. They paid anywhere from $100-$300, and had to take a boating safety course.

You’ll have a criminal record for the rest of your life. I’m currently working on getting my record clean, which is not easy given you have to deal with the .gov.

I always supported cops and backed the blue. After my experience and reading stories like this, can’t say I still do. I actually took my blue line flag sticker off my truck last week. Based on how full the court room was with people being criminally charged with bullshit, there has to be a breaking point eventually.
 

hallett21

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I just had to go to court for a class 2 misdemeanor. Won’t get into the details, but it was just as dumb as what you got cited for.

Unfortunately you can’t plead your case. You show up and either plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, you go to trial and need a lawyer and more time/money.

I ended up pleading guilty and taking a $92 fine. My charge was for a stupid off-roading violation, but a few others in the court room had boating violations that were similar to yours. They paid anywhere from $100-$300, and had to take a boating safety course.

You’ll have a criminal record for the rest of your life. I’m currently working on getting my record clean, which is not easy given you have to deal with the .gov.

I always supported cops and backed the blue. After my experience and reading stories like this, can’t say I still do. I actually took my blue line flag sticker off my truck last week. Based on how full the court room was with people being criminally charged with bullshit, there has to be a breaking point eventually.

Unfortunately people need to start contesting the charges. If you get a few cases thrown out the agency will change their attitude towards citations.

Edit.

I guarantee their (officer’s) attitude is that who’s going to actually come back for a trial?
 

Kurt96

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Unfortunately people need to start contesting the charges. If you get a few cases thrown out the agency will change their attitude towards citations.

Edit.

I guarantee their (officer’s) attitude is that who’s going to actually come back for a trial?
I would like to think that is the case, but the state makes way too much money off these petty tickets. My charge was criminal trespassing in a restricted nature reserve area (near Lake Pleasant). I followed a network of well used trails with no signage, and next thing I knew multiple sheriffs rolled up on me. They’ve gotten hundreds of people in the same area. It’s a trap and they know what they are doing.

I would love to go after the state and sheriffs for this crap. But like everyone else in the court room I was in, no one has the time or money to deal with it. And you would need to go from a different angle than defending your specific case. It would have to be a completely separate lawsuit.

If there is a group or organization around that would fight, I would 100% help out in any way I can.
 
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Deckin Around

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Here’s

2. The watercraft is being maneuvered for anchoring, mooring or casting off moorings.

Simple defense: the person who stood up had been instructed to grab an anchor, ropes, or buoys. That is very reasonable in the channel. Case dismissed.
 

RiverDave

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No, the issue is fucking power tripping LE writing bullshit tickets instead of serving and protecting. Pretty easy to do your safety checks, sobriety test, and send the fine folks along to enjoy the rest of their evening/weekend without the ticket.

I think it’s amazing that we have rationalized safety check and sobriety tests as “normal”..

Wasn’t that long ago people would want to know what the pc was for even being given a sobriety test..

Now it’s just submit and move on.
 

RiverDave

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Labor Day a few years back
Bennington pontoon with the "flip seat back" in rear. coming into Thompson Bay barney lights me up..
Two adults were sitting on the rear seat ,,,full railings....barney says not legal "transom riding...WTF
No day to argue...it was definitely a "safety check"

Had to appear in court...If you pled not guilty you had to come back...i listened to two others with same ticket....plead guilty=$300 fine

I had no interest in coming back pled no contest and paid $300

I woulda asked for a supervisor and god damn right I woulda fought that all day long.. if there’s railings your good to go.
 

evantwheeler

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I think it’s amazing that we have rationalized safety check and sobriety tests as “normal”..

Wasn’t that long ago people would want to know what the pc was for even being given a sobriety test..

Now it’s just submit and move on.
Not sure where I have rationalized a safety check or sobriety as normal.... In the case of the OP, the bullshit ticket pisses me off more than the bullshit stop. My views on alcohol and vehicle/vessel usage have drastically changed, but I still oppose offensive LE actions which I consider entrapment and means of revenue generation - ie. roablocks, hitting every person coming out of a boat launch/ramp or sitting at a ramp targeting the smallest "infraction" to give cause for interrogation/inspection, or a situation like in the OP's case. I support LE in all aspects of serving and protecting in a reactionary manner.

The only resolution I see for this is RD for Sherriff. You have a mobile campaign sign ready to go.
 

DarkHorseRacing

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Not sure where I have rationalized a safety check or sobriety as normal.... In the case of the OP, the bullshit ticket pisses me off more than the bullshit stop. My views on alcohol and vehicle/vessel usage have drastically changed, but I still oppose offensive LE actions which I consider entrapment and means of revenue generation - ie. roablocks, hitting every person coming out of a boat launch/ramp or sitting at a ramp targeting the smallest "infraction" to give cause for interrogation/inspection, or a situation like in the OP's case. I support LE in all aspects of serving and protecting in a reactionary manner.

The only resolution I see for this is RD for Sherriff. You have a mobile campaign sign ready to go.
RD for Sheriff has quotas to fill, just like the last guy, to justify his budget and any increases he is asking for in the name of public safety.

Sucks but changing the guy don’t change the game when it’s money driven.
 

samsah33

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I tried looking it up. Couldn’t find the “C” portion.

Can you give more details?

It appears that 5-341 is a serous charge. Here is what I did find.

Amusements and Sports § 5-341. Negligent operation of watercraft or water skis; restriction in operation of watercraft; violation; classification. A. No person shall operate a watercraft in a careless, reckless or negligent manner.

Hmmm, call me crazy, but I thought you cannot move around on a boat underway? If you're standing, then you need to stand in place, and if you're seated, then you need to stay there. Is that correct?

Pointing this out because the OP said that he got the ticket while his passenger was changing seats while underway. If he fights the ticket and I'm right on the moving around while underway, then I wouldn't tell the judge that your view was not obstructed while your passenger was changing seats...
 
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