Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Duke Behnke's Q&A: Winnebago doing no-wake checks

4:15 PM, Aug. 17, 2013  |  Comments
  • Filed Under

Q I saw a Winnebago County sheriff's boat docked on the Fox River in Oshkosh. Instead of patrolling, it was using an air horn and waving boaters over, presumably for life jacket and OWI checks. Doesn't that equate to a sobriety checkpoint, which is illegal on roads? Are boaters obligated to comply with the air-horn tactic?

A Chief Deputy Todd Christopherson assured me that sheriff's deputies are not conducting sobriety checkpoints on the Fox River.

Rather, they're conducting stationary patrols along the shore to watch for violations of the no-wake zone on the river.

"Conceptually, it is a similar tactic that deputies perform on the highway when conducting stationary radar for speeders," Christopherson said.

Upon observing a no-wake violation, or any other violation, deputies will signal the offending boater to come to their location. Christopherson said the practice creates "a safer environment than the alternative, which is to make a traditional stop in a congested navigation channel and drift about with a deputy physically holding onto the offending boat."

If the boater who committed the violation ignores or doesn't understand the signal, deputies will make a traditional traffic stop.

"This is done without further penalty to the boater, who may not have understood the less-invasive directive to stop," Christopherson said.

Police must have reasonable suspicion of a violation to effect a stop. This standard doesn't apply to the U.S. Coast Guard, however. Christopherson said the Coast Guard may conduct stops and searches of vessels operating on federal waterways, which includes the Lake Winnebago System, "with or without just cause."

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
576 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1018 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1272 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports

ORDER YOURS

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports