According to a news report, Governor Pat Quinn recently signed three new boating laws into effect in the state of Illinois. His signing of the laws, which are aimed at increasing boater safety, was purposely done at a time when many Illinois citizens were likely spending time on bodies of water in an effort to raise awareness about the safety issues. He emphasized the importance of residents staying safe on waterways in Illinois specifically while celebrating throughout the summer months.
Governor Quinn pointed out that boating is a fun and popular way to enjoy the outdoors, but the proper precautions must be taken in order to keep both drivers and passengers safe and avoid boating accidents. The new laws that were signed into effect are meant to keep waterways in Illinois safer and more enjoyable for everyone. Boat safety is likely on the mind of many citizens of the state, especially in light of the three drownings that occurred in the state just last month alone.
The three new laws will take effect beginning on January 1, 2015. The laws will require safety courses for young boaters, create rules for towing passengers on water tubes and skis, including displaying a foot-long orange flag while the rider is in the water, and will create harsher penalties for operating a boat under the influence. In addition, a restriction will go into effect in 2016 that will require residents born after January 1, 1998 to possess a safety certificate from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to operate a watercraft with an engine greater than 10 horsepower.
The DUI law is meant to recognize that boats can be just as dangerous as cars and boat drivers should be held to a standard similar to the driver of a vehicle. Anyone convicted of their third boat DUI or who operates a boat with a revoked license risks having their boat seized by the proper authorities. Officers from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), who will have jurisdiction to enforce the new laws, will follow procedures much like those followed by officers on land. They will conduct field sobriety tests, and use a breathalyzer to determine if a boat driver is operating under the influence.
Commercial fishermen will be exempt from the law requiring a safety certificate for larger horsepower engines, and those who rent boats will have to take a safety class with the rental agency but will not be required to obtain a certificate.
Accident Injury Attorney
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident due to the fault of another person, you may have important rights that deserve protection. Contact the experienced Lombard boating accident attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC to discuss your case. We serve clients in Chicago, DuPage County, and the surrounding areas.
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