After a short Lake Erie walleye fishing trip on the annual Governor's Fish Ohio Day, Gov. John Kasich took time out for lunch last week and to sign the Boater Freedom Act.
The legislation reins in local and state officers from boarding local pleasure and charter boats unless there is a reasonable suspicion that laws are being broken, according to Cleveland.com.
Sponsor Rep. Rex Damschroder, a Republican from Fremont, told the website that boaters in northwest Ohio have been complaining about constant safety inspections by local and state agencies, including the Ohio Division of Watercraft. Some boaters have been checked multiple times during the same day and cited one instance of a local boater being brought to shore while face down and in handcuffs, even though a breathalyzer test showed no evidence of alcohol use, Damschroder said.
The regulation will not stop U.S. Coast Guard or Homeland Security officials from arbitrarily stopping and boarding boats.
Lake Erie Marine Trades Association president Ken Alvey told the website the random stops had hurt tourism, fishing and boating in general.