A bill which sets tough penalties for drunken boaters has become law.Governor Tom Vilsack signed the drunken boating bill into law as Bill Sanders of Des Moines stood at his side, tears running down his cheeks. Sanders wife, Dona, was killed last summer on Saylorville Reservoir in an accident caused by a boater with a blood alcohol limit which would have brought a conviction if he’d been driving a car. But Iowa law didn’t have any teeth when it came to driving a boat while drunk. It does now, and Sanders lobbied legislators hard to make the change. Sanders says he’s happy the bill is finally law, he says he’s also sad the state didn’t already have the bill in place. He says he took the challenge that it would not happen again to anybody else. Sanders says he lives the problem every day as he wakes up without at wife.The new law sets the penalty for first-time drunken boating at 48 hours in jail and a one-thousand dollar fine. Someone found guilty of driving a boat while drunk and causing a death would face up to 25 years in prison.
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