A new Illinois law seeks to discourage boat operators from getting drunk. IPR's Amanda Vinicky has more:
It stems from a tragic story: a ten-year-old, Tony Borcia, was run over and killed last year by a powerboat, driven by a man who was drunk and high on cocaine. Tony's mother, Margaret Borcia, says now she's dedicated to changing a culture that turns a blind eye to intoxicated boat drivers.
"Driving a boat is the last place socially acceptable to drink and drive.People would be appalled to see someone driving a car while drinking alcohol. But no one blinks twice when a person drives a boat and drinks alcohol."
She encourages boaters to report erratic driving, and she says there should be more police patrols on the water - she says prior to hitting Tony, her son's killer had been spotted driving recklessly.
But she also says the crash may have been prevented if there were steeper penalties for driving a boat under the influence of alcohol. Under the new law, Illinois a drunken boater could lose the right to drive a car. If there's a boat crash that results in serious injuries or death ... a boat operator who refuses to take a breathalyzer and other tests could get his drivers' license suspended.
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