A 46-year-old Des Moines man whose wife was killed in a boating accident this summer plans to ask Iowa legislators to establish a “drunken boating” law. Bill Sanders and his wife, Dona, were boating with friends on Saylorville Lake on a Friday night in July, watching the sunset. As they were their pontoon boat toward the dock, a speed boat coming out of the marina struck the Sanders’ craft, killing Dona. Sanders wants a new “no wake” speed limit for boats from dusk ’til dawn.Sanders also wants the same laws for operating a boat while intoxicated as are in force for operating a motor vehicle after drinking too much. The man who drove the speed boat which rammed Sanders pontoon boat would have been considered legally drunk if he’d been driving a car.One of Sanders’ co-workers is state Senator Matt McCoy, who plans to sponsor a bill treating drunken boaters the same as drunken car drivers.Sanders doesn’t expect Department of Natural Resources officers to be that strict. The bill he’s lobbying for also would force new jet ski operators to take a safety course.
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