Bill would treat state boat wrecks like car wrecks

Published 9:11 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2009

MONTGOMERY — An Alabama House committee has approved a bill that would treat fatal boating accidents involving alcoholic beverages the same as fatal traffic accidents where the driver of one of the vehicles was driving under the influence.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill sponsored by Rep. Barry Mask of Wetumpka on Wednesday.

Mask said the bill was inspired by fatal boating accidents in recent years on Lake Jordan and Lake Martin.

Elmore County District Attorney Randall Houston said the bill would set the same penalties for fatal boating accidents where drinking is a contributing factor and for traffic accidents.

Houston said the bill is needed because of the large number of boaters on Alabama lakes and the speed of boats operating on waterways.