MI legislators may crack down on drunk drivers
Written by WZZM 13   
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 07:30

A holiday weekend on the water but for some Lake Michigan has become a sort of watering hole. Jeff Jullie said, “I've seen it. There is a lot of people out here who overindulge in alcohol and drink too many beers and don't know how to handle themselves.”

What Jeff Jullie witnesses, the Coast Guard arrests.

Gibson said, “We've been getting one a weekend probably for the last 5 weeks.”

Gibson said his patrol in Grand Haven regularly charges boozing boaters if they fail breathalizer tests.

The standard for boating while intoxicated in Michigan is .1.
The standard for driving drunk in a car is point .08.

State Rep. Tonya Schuitmaker said, “I think operating a watercraft is no less hazardous under the influence of alcohol than operating a motor vehicle.”

Last year Rep. Schuitmaker introduced a bill lowering the drunk driving threshold for boaters, making it the same on water as it is on land.

That bill is now in the Senate and reportedly supported by the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents, which cites a rise in the number of boating accidents.

Statewide there were 168 in 2004 and 178 in 2005.

Jullie said, “You still have to be of the same cognizant ability to operate a boat versus a car.”

Jullie supports making the boating while intoxicated threshold point .08 and said its a matter of safety for him and his family.

Jullie said, “It is dangerous. If you aren't paying attention to what you are doing out here somebody could lose their life.”


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