Iowa seeks to toughen its BUI law

March 2011 News

Iowa is expected to soon become the latest state to toughen its laws against boating under the influence of alcohol, as lawmakers this week voted to drop the blood-alcohol threshold from .10 percent to .08 percent, effective July 1.

The governor is expected to sign the bill into law, according to media reports.

"I absolutely believe it will save lives," Republican state Sen. David Johnson said. "In the last decade we've had perhaps 20 deaths on the waters of our state and many of those are alcohol-related. It's an issue anywhere that people are out using water recreation."

The Senate had repeatedly approved the tougher blood-alcohol standard for drunken boating in previous legislative sessions, only to see the measure stall in the House.

"Quite frankly, there were some legislators who thought we were taking the fun out of fishing," Johnson said. "But by no means, we're putting the safety into fishing and other water recreational activities."

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