Drink-sailing law on Guernsey's Home Department's agenda

The possibility of introducing drink-sailing laws in Guernsey will be discussed by the Home Department.

The island's harbour master raised the issue after the lifeboat had to search for four hours for a private boat, whose crew were reported to be drunk.

Currently only those in legally charge of boats carrying passengers, for hire or reward, or cargo can be charged.

A department spokesman said they would carry out a consultation with "relevant parties" before making a decision.

He said the practicalities of enforcement and the cost of any such legislation would be among the factors considered.

If the department decides in favour of introducing laws it will have to take proposals to the States for approval.

The spokesman said: "There is a small minority of boaters who are irresponsible by choosing to sail whilst under the influence of alcohol, impeding their abilities and forcing the island's lifeboat to respond to incidents which could readily be avoided."

He said in the UK introducing an alcohol limit for those in charge of pleasure vessels were first recommended almost 20 years ago, but had yet to be made law.

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