Group touts voluntary boater sobriety campaign

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The Lake Havasu (Ariz.) Marine Association's 2011 Designated Operator boating safety campaign complements the thinking of state legislators who are in the process of enacting tougher laws regulating intoxicated boat drivers, the association reports.

Iowa and Michigan are joining the fight, with bills expected to be enacted this summer to lower the blood alcohol limit for boat operators from .10 to .08.

"As recreational boaters, it's important for us to understand that if we don't conduct ourselves in a safe manner when operating a boat, government will fill that void by enacting stricter laws and regulations that will be enforced. Our sport doesn't need that," Jim Salscheider, the Lake Havasu group's executive director, said in a statement.

"A much better solution is Designated Operator, a totally voluntary campaign that encourages sobriety when driving a boat," he added. "If we're successful in reducing the number of impaired boat operators on the water through voluntary compliance, law enforcement will have more resources to focus on other important boating safety issues."

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