Thursday, February 21, 2008


Gibbs & Tupa Pass Bill Decreasing
Legal Alcohol Limit for Boaters

DENVER—Today the Senate Transportation Committee passed Senate Bill 159, which would improve public safety on Colorado’s waters by lowering the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) from 0.10 to 0.08 for boat operators.

Sponsored by Senators Dan Gibbs (D-Silverthorne) and Ron Tupa (D-Boulder), the bill stipulates that boaters above the .08 threshold would be charged with boating under the influence. The bill also expands boating under the influence to include all vessels, not just motorboats or sailboats.

“Drunk boating is as serious an issue as drunk driving, and just as dangerous,” Tupa said. “Senate Bill 159 will help ensure public safety on Colorado waterways by applying the same blood alcohol content limit for boats as we have for cars and motorcycles.”

“I’m happy to see this bill pass unanimously out of committee today,” said Gibbs. “This bill will help reduce instances of dangerous activity so that Coloradans can safely enjoy our state’s beautiful lakes and rivers.”

The penalty for operating a motorboat or sailboat under the influence would include a mandatory five days in jail and up to one year in county jail. Additionally, lawbreakers could face fines between $200 to $1,000 as well as community service.

In 2007, there were 27 reported cases of boating under the influence. Currently, 36 other states have similar regulations for boating.

The bill next moves to the full Senate for consideration.