New Illinois Laws Will Increase Boating Safety

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed three bills this month that should dramatically improve recreational boating safety.

Under one bill, anyone born after 1998 will be required to complete a boating safety course before they can operate a boat with a 10 horsepower engine or greater. In a second bill, a person’s boat can be seized after multiple DUI offenses. The final bill requires that any water craft towing a person must display a bright orange flag of at least 12 inches per side.

The new legislation was sponsored by Senator Julie Morrison, whose 10-year-old nephew was struck and killed by a drunk boater in July of 2012.

The boy was tubing with his family when he fell into the water. Despite the fact that he was wearing a bright red lifejacket and waving his arms, a boater sped over the water in a huge boat, and “went right through him,” according to the boy’s grieving mother.

The driver of the larger boat pled guilty to aggravated drunken-driving and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. So far in 2014, there have been at least sixteen confirmed boating fatalities in Illinois waters.

If you have lost a loved one in a drunk boating accident, do not hesitate to contact our maritime trial lawyers. We can help you cut through the red tape to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. At Latti & Anderson, we have helped those injured at sea and on land for over 50 years – call today and tell us about your case. We serve clients nationwide.

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