City of Durango gets draconian... - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-16-2010   #1
 
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 424
City of Durango gets draconian...

... and hires their own private river ranger to start giving out BUIs on the Animas.
The article will be out in tomorrow's paper, but word is city council has decided to pass an ordinance banning alcohol (open container or not) on the river for all watercraft (including tubes).

On top of that, they're banning tubes on all stretches of the Animas through town except from the high school bridge to 9th St. bridge.

Of course all of this will be enforced by their new fully armed river ranger paid for by you and me. Thanks city council... this is exactly how i wanted my tax dollars spent.

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Old 05-16-2010   #2
 
Durango, Colorado
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Fuckers
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Old 05-16-2010   #3
 
pagosa, Colorado
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i dont even know what to say....
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Old 05-16-2010   #4
 
Durango, Colorado
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My Blood Pressure just went up.. OH MY GOD! ........ So search and seizure laws apply then.. meaning. How will they know what is in my cooler? Just like a vehical. They need probable cause ( a beer can is probable cause) but the ranger just can not go running up and down the launch looking in coolers. I need a lawyer!!!!!
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Old 05-16-2010   #5
 
Down by the River, Idaho
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More and more bullshit laws.... personal freedom out the window!
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Old 05-16-2010   #6
 
Durango, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durangloski View Post
My Blood Pressure just went up.. OH MY GOD! ........ So search and seizure laws apply then.. meaning. How will they know what is in my cooler? Just like a vehical. They need probable cause ( a beer can is probable cause) but the ranger just can not go running up and down the launch looking in coolers. I need a lawyer!!!!!

This could be the big area of contention in this new ordinance. What constitutes as "probable cause"? Simply having a cooler on your boat? This could get messy...

Just remember that you have the right to refuse a search unless a warrant is obtained and that the ranger has no right to stop you from leaving without officially detaining you.
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Old 05-16-2010   #7
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Gonzorango, Colorado
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Das ist streng verboten!

The mountain of snow and hydrocarbons melting into the Animas below 4CRS could very well be a Clean Water Act violation.

Since the city likes a Germanic approach to law enforcement, it seems only fair that Durango should start voluntarily paying fines of $37k per day for polluting the river with street crud that the City is discharging directly into the Animas from the still-giant snow piles.

EPA could put the money to better use. Noch eins.
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Old 05-16-2010   #8
 
Durango, Colorado
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so they have enough money to budget in a ranger for monitoring drinking but not for use of life jackets??? Interesting...
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Old 05-16-2010   #9
 
Durango, Colorado
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Most ideas to police the Animas sink

City councilor worries rules may be excessive

by Garrett Andrews
Herald Staff Writer
Article Last Updated; Wednesday, March 24, 2010 12:00AM
An ordinance intended to regulate use of the Animas River during the summers hit a strainer Tuesday as stakeholders met with the Durango City Council and listened as city staff explained why suppressing immature behavior on the river won't be as easy as many of them would like.
Provisions in a proposed river ordinance would have prohibited alcohol in closed containers, imposed a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and required life jackets for recreational users. A curfew might still pass in some form, but the alcohol and flotation-device provisions likely will be scrapped because of enforcement and financial considerations.
“I believe it's excessive and would limit access to an affordable and cherished summertime activity," said Councilor Doug Lyon of the life-jacket provision Tuesday at the study session.
The ordinance comes after years of discussions between residents and the city. Since 1988, commercial-user days have increased from 12,000 to 42,000, according to the Colorado River Outfitters Association, the third-highest total in Colorado. Though commercial use on the Animas has ballooned, another manner of river-going craft seems to have inflated faster and seems directly targeted by the ordinance.
Animas River guide Casey Lynch, who has guided trips on the river for 28 years, said he's seen tubing “balloon" in the last five years.
“We can't contain it as is," he said. “If it's busy, you can't get a bus in there. It's too crowded."
Now, neighbors of the 29th Street and 33rd Street put-ins complain about a wild party atmosphere that routinely carries on late into the night. Neighbors cite parking, noise, trash and bad behavior as signs things have gotten out of hand.
“(During river season) I pick up trash on my property on nearly a daily basis," said resident Tim Wolf, who one time found a syringe on his land. “It hurts to watch."
Durango police responded last year with an increased presence at the put-ins, and the city held several meetings with affected residents. But, as if to show these efforts were no magic bullet, two shirtless young men interrupted a well-attended meeting at the 33rd Street put-in to ask if anyone there wanted to purchase cans of beer.
Public consumption of alcohol is illegal on the Animas, but, as Durango Police Chief David Felice said, that's not an easy law to enforce.
“We were down there all last summer watching people with kegs over one shoulder getting into rafts, and there's nothing we can do. We saw it all day long; we can only cite once it's open," he said.
What DPD officers would occasionally do is watch for consumption from the shore, follow subjects to the take-outs and issue citations.
Felice said strict enforcement can even provide an incentive for drinkers to ditch their cans and bottles, and make collecting evidence more difficult for Felice's officers.
And the chief said that if it were possible, he would have officers in the water. But costs for certifying - and recertifying - officers to use kayaks would prove prohibitive. But he would have no trouble finding volunteers, he said.
“If I started a marine unit, they'd all want to do it," he said.
One of the most effective tactics he can employ, he said, would be “setting the tone," and feature the strictest enforcement during the first few weeks of river season.
Fort Lewis College student Stanley Michael, who heads the group Durango for Animas Freedom, urged councilors to avoid penalizing tubers if possible and to push education instead.
“I have a feeling that if we hand over our freedoms, we'll hand over our comfort," he said, adding that more arrests won't solve the alcohol problem.

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Old 05-16-2010   #10
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Guides need to be aware that the new state BUI law involves getting your "Boating Privilege" revoked for a year if you are convicted under the new BUI statute. This could easily put you out of work for two seasons. I have no idea how they are going to monitor who's boating privileges have been revoked if you move from river to river.

Unlike a lot of whitewater stretches the Animas through Durango allows cops to get boaters who have been detained to an intoxilyzer machine or a blood draw within a short period of time. This is not good for the boater.

Anybody who gets busted can PM me through the 'Buzz.

Also keep in mind, I'm an attorney, but not your attorney.
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