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September 4, 2003


            Pennsylvania’s task force approach to Boating Under the Influence (BUI) law enforcement is the cover story of the latest FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.

            George Geisler, Jr., Waterways Conservation Officer and Assistant to the Director of the Bureau of Law Enforcement for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, authored the article.  In it, Geisler explored the link between BUI and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and detailed the partnership approach the PFBC has taken toward addressing the issue.

            “BUI enforcement is not limited to the state’s waterways.  In Pennsylvania, most boaters drive vehicles to and from their place of boating.  Therefore when boat operators consume alcoholic beverages or controlled substances while boating and then get into their motor vehicle, the BUI then becomes a DUI,” Geisler explained.  “My analysis of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation statistics shows that from 1995-2002, the highest number of DUI crashes occur in municipalities which include major boating destinations and the roadways leading to and from these points.”

            In the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin article, Geisler discussed the more than 40-hour block of BUI enforcement instruction PFBC Waterways Conservation Officers receive during initial training, complemented by follow-up experienced officer training throughout their careers.  Geisler’s piece also provided an overview of how the PFBC works with other law enforcement agencies and non-profit organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the PA DUI Association.

Beginning in 1932 as a list of national fugitives, the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin has grown into a magazine reaching approximately 250,000 readers every month in over 90 countries worldwide. It is widely recognized as the premier law enforcement magazine in the world.

In selecting Geisler’s submission as the magazine’s cover story, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Editor John Ott noted, "the article addressed a unique and important concern and demonstrated how to implement an effective program to safeguard the public."

Geisler was also recently published in the Summer 2003 edition of International Game Warden magazine with an article on boating accident investigation, including evidence collection for suspicion of BUI.  

In 2002, the PFBC successfully prosecuted a record 70 BUI cases.  The Commission handled a mere 15 cases just a decade earlier, in 1992.   The increase in prosecutions mirrors the growth in recreational boating in Pennsylvania over the same time period, along with the PFBC’s increased emphasis on BUI enforcement

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Click here to download a PDF file with the full text of the article as it appears in the August 2003 edition of FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin




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