Monday, June 29, 2009

California may suspend licenses of DUI boaters (BUI captains or skippers)

California state Senator Benoit is trying to push legislation which would suspend one's California driver’s license if convicted of DUI Boating or boating under the influence aka BUI.

About 15 years ago, the California DMV suspended licenses for BUI convictions, but that procedure was ordered stopped last year citing the lack of statutory authority.

This California proposal allows the DMV to suspend the license of anyone convicted with a prior DUI or BUI conviction. It would also require that anyone convicted of boating under the influence attend and complete an alcohol education course.

According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways, about 25 percent of all deaths on California waterways are attributed to impaired vessel operators. And of the 55 boating fatalities in 2007, that number of alcohol-related deaths climbed to just under half.

The California State Sheriff’s Association, District Attorneys Association, and Boating Safety Officers Association naturally like the idea.

In attempting to reduce the number of impaired boaters, the bill's sponsor has 8 years in DUI enforcement, making over a thousand California DUI arrests. His drunk boating legislation reflects the seriousness of BUI offenses, protecting the safety of travelers on California’s streets, highways and waterways. The legislator's district includes Riverside County, which borders the Colorado River. So far, the bill was passed by the state Senate a month ago.