Legislation that would lower the legal blood alcohol concentration limit for the offense of boating under the influence from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent was approved by the state Senate today. The measure would also prohibit children under the age of 12 from operating personal watercraft.
Sen. Bill Brown, author of Senate Bill 902, said the Legislature needed to add teeth to the state’s boating laws in order to reduce watercraft-related accidents and deaths.
“In order to prevent tragedies on our waterways, we need to establish strong deterrents to prevent boating under the influence,” said Brown, R-Broken Arrow.
“This measure simply brings our limits for boating under the influence in line with our limits for driving under the influence. Operating watercraft under the influence is just as dangerous as operating a car or truck, and there’s no reason the legal blood alcohol concentration limit should be higher.”
Brown noted that alcohol use is the leading factor in fatal boating accidents, including several high-profile Oklahoma cases in recent years.
“Our lakes are beautiful places and important recreational sites that we have a responsibility to preserve,” Brown said. “We ought to be able to enjoy the natural beauty of our lakes and rivers without having to worry about safety. I strongly feel that we can minimize risk for children and families by signing this bill into law. Today’s vote was an important step in that effort.”
Senate Bill 902 now advances to the House for consideration.
Senator Brown of Broken Arrow was elected in 2006 to represent the people of Senate District 36. He serves as the Chairman of the Retirement and Insurance Committee.
Senator Brown was born and raised in Henryetta Oklahoma. He attended Northeasten State University and received a degree in Education. Bill taught school for 4 years, before going into the Insurance Business.
Senator Brown is a civic leader with a passion for service. He was president of the Broken Arrow Rotary Club and is the past president of Gatesway Foundation, an organization that helps the mentally and physically disabled.
Senator Brown is married to Linda Brown, a longtime teacher at Park Lane Elementary School in Broken Arrow. They have four children and eleven grandchildren. As a Broken Arrow citizen for thirty-three years, Bill has always held fast to his conservative principles. Faith is of utmost importance to Bill and his family.