SPRINGFIELD– A measure introduced by State Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) aimed at increasing waterway safety passed the Illinois Senate this week.  

The proposal mirrors current laws for drinking and driving on Illinois roads.  In cases that result in injury or death on Illinois waterways, if the operator of the motor boat refuses to submit to a breathalyzer or chemical test, the Secretary of State has the authority to suspend or revoke the operator's driver's license.

“Last summer my 10-year-old nephew was killed in a boating accident.  The man operating the boat was under the influence of drugs and alcohol,” Morrison said.  “This is a necessary measure that promotes safety and deters reckless behavior on Illinois waterways. The possibility of losing one’s driver’s license will be a strong deterrent against drinking and driving irresponsibly on our lakes and rivers.”

The bill is Senate Bill 1479.  The measure passed 54-0 and now moves to the House for further consideration.

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