At the beginning of July, Governor Pat Quinn signed off on several different laws that were aimed to increase boating safety regulations. News of these updates happened over the Fourth of July weekend, and Quinn used it as an opportunity to remind Illinois residents. “Over the Fourth of July weekend, it’s important that all residents stay safe while celebrating, especially out on Illinois waterways,” Quinn stated in a news release. He continued: “While boating is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, everyone has to take precautions and follow the rules to keep drivers and passengers out of harm’s way. These new laws will help make Illinois lakes and rivers safer and more enjoyable for all…”

New Boating Legislation

The Chicago Democrat signed off on three measures at a ceremony that took place off the shores of Lake Michigan. These new measures focused on:

      • Require boaters to take safety courses
      • Create rules for towing people on water tubes or skies
      • Impose stricter boater DUI penalties

DUI on the Water

Being charged with a DUI on the water is much different than being charged with a DUI on the road. Quinn hopes that with this new legislation in place, boaters will realize how extreme a boating DUI offense is. State officials reported that there have been 16 deaths due to boating incidents this year, and many supporters of the new safety laws believe that all of these deaths could have been avoided.

While road DUI fatalities are much steeper than boating fatalities, no death is warranted. “Boats are every bit as dangerous as cars, and boat operators should be held to the same standard as drivers,” stated Senator Julie Morrison, who backs the new legislation.

The new law states that a person who is convicted of three boat DUIs, or those caught operating a boat with a license that has already been revoked, could have their boat taken from them. This law also applies to any boat operators who have been convicted of a reckless homicide, accidental death, or accidental injury.

Many supporters of the stricter laws hope that boaters will take safety more seriously, especially when boating on holidays. Besides boating DUIs, Quinn approved legislation that makes it mandatory for boaters to display a foot-long orange flag on the highest point of the boat while towing in people who are jet-skiing, or tubing. The last measure – beginning in 2016, Illinois residents born after January 1st, 1998, must be certified by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to operate a watercraft with more than a 10 horsepower engine.

Call a Chicago DUI Attorney for the Assistance you Deserve

If you or a loved one are facing a DUI allegation, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Office of J. Samuel Worley. Our Chicago DUI Attorneys are extremely supportive, and are knowledgeable in cases similar to yours. We offer free, confidential consultations to those in need. Call us today: 312-953-LAW1

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