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Illinois Lawmakers Consider Stricter Penalties for Boating DUI Offenses

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illinois-dui-boatingIllinois lawmakers are considering three bills that are aimed at making the state’s waterways safer for recreational boaters. These bills amend boating safety laws that are already in place, and one of the bills under consideration would enforce stricter penalties for boating while under the influence than those currently listed under Illinois criminal law.

Under SB1477, anyone who is convicted of operating a watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol would have their driver’s license suspended for three months. The bill is sponsored by state Senator Julie Morrison, whose 10-year-old nephew was killed after falling of a tube on Petite Lake in northern Illinois. Anthony Borcia was struck by a boat whose operator plead guilty to aggravated driving under the influence after a blood test found alcohol and cocaine in his system.

A second bill, SB1478 would require Illinois residents born after Jan. 1, 1990 to successfully complete a boating safety course before they would be allowed to operate a watercraft. Currently, only children between the ages of 12 and 18 who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian are required to receive a safety certificate to operate a boat.

The third bill under consideration by the Illinois state Senate is SB1805, which would require any boat or watercraft that is towing a person behind them to display an orange flag.

If you are concerned about how any of these changes in the law may affect you, or if you have been accused of driving or boating under the influence, contact an experienced Illinois DUI attorney today. DUI is a serious offence that can carry serious penalties, including imprisonment for up to 12 years. A qualified and experienced attorney can ensure that you receive a fair trial, and help you keep your license and stay out of jail.

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