State law lets boaters be drunker than motorists can be. But a change in the definition of drunken boating is working its way through the state senate.
The senate has advanced a bill that drops the drunken-boating standard to point-zero eight, the same as for drunken driving. It’s now point-one-oh.
Senator Delbert Scott of Lowry City wants his bill to send a message that Missourians love their lakes and rivers, but they should be enjoyed safely.
He says all seven boating fatalities in Missouri last year were alcohol-related and half of all boating incidents had a link to alcohol.
The bill also creates the crimes of assault with a vessel and involuntary manslaughter with a vessel. It establishes a night speed limit of 30 miles an hour on all lakes and rivers in the state. For the first time the law will define water-skiing. including knee boarding and tubing It also makes abandonment of a boat the same crime as abandoning a car.
One more round of voting will send it to the House.
The bill is SCS/SB 1107