Michigan House passes boat safety bill

Michigan’s House of Representatives last week approved legislation sponsored by State Rep. Matt Lori that makes boating safer on Michigan’s lakes and rivers.
A pair of House bills calls for lowering the blood-alcohol content level for boaters from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent, the same as operators of motor vehicles. Legislation in the package does the same for snowmobilers and operators of off-road vehicles.
Lori said people operating boats and other watercraft should be able to relax and enjoy Michigan’s natural resources, but also show responsibility.
Lori recalled a case in 2005 on Donnell Lake in Cass County, where 7-year-old Ryan Zielinski was killed when a personal watercraft operator ran over the child’s tube. The driver of the watercraft had a BAC that would have gotten him arrested for drunken driving if he was operating a motor vehicle. County officials were unable to prosecute the watercraft driver as severely as they would have been able to if he were driving a car.
The Lori-sponsored bills now go to the Senate for consideration.

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