US Coast Guard's 'Stop & Search' Power Incontestable

William & Mary Law Review
Friday, October 26, 2012

The USCG is America's only armed service with responsibility & authority for direct law enforcement action, on land police officers must meet 'reasonable suspicion' requirement.

The Coast Guard is firmly committed to continuing the 'drug war' in the maritime area and, accordingly, drug interdiction is the most significant Coast Guard mission in terms of effort dedicated and money spent. A broad grant of enforcement authority from Congress coupled with an equally broad deference by the judiciary to the use of that power has facilitated this commitment.

Congress provided its principal support of Coast Guard law enforcement almost half a century ago, with a statute that has not required amendment to meet modern exigencies. The courts, however, have fully endorsed unfettered authority for the agency's law enforcement mission only during the last two decades as a perceived need for this wide latitude arose in the context of halting the flood of illegal drugs from South America.

Vessel owners must accept as part of the 'cost' of enjoying waterborne business or recreation the possibility that the Coast Guard may stop and board their vessel at any time. For the recreational boater who already faces pervasive regulations that require him to carry certain expensive equipment in order to enjoy his leisure time aboard a vessel which itself requires a substantial investment, the appearance of a Coast Guard law enforcement team is particularly disturbing.

Nevertheless Coast Guard officers have  broad authority for stopping vessels subject to United States jurisdiction, and owners and operators have no legal grounds for complaint against being stopped and searched.

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Master Fined After Wind Farm Collision

The master of a wind farm support vessel has today been made to pay £3,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to breaches of maritime collision regulations.

Polar Code Afoot

The IMO is on the verge of adopting the Polar Code, something that is important and long overdue. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations,

Halliburton to Settle US Gulf Spill Claims for $1.1b

Halliburton Co said it reached a $1.1 billion settlement for a majority of claims against the company for its role in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Coast Guard

Ballast Water Leadership

Admiral Paul Zukunft, the new U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, could fill the BWT leadership void. Global efforts to combat the spread of invasive species in ballast

USCG Medevacs Mariner in Port Alexander, Alaska

The Coast Guard medevaced an 87-year-old female reportedly suffering from complications associated with a lower back injury aboard the fishing vessel Annie B in Port Alexander, Sunday evening.

USCG Responds to Plane Crash 51 mi SE Of Chincoteague Island, VA

The Coast Guard is responding to a plane crash Saturday approximately 51 miles southeast of Chincoteague Island.   Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 5th District

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1126 sec (9 req/sec)