Drunk boaters to be held accountable


Senator Jeff Stone. Photo provided by Jeff Stone

On June 25, the Assembly Committee on Public Safety unanimously passed legislation authored by Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County) to allow boats driven by intoxicated individuals to be impounded for up to 30 days.
If a person is killed by a boater under the influence of drugs or alcohol and convicted of such crime, Senate Bill 393 calls for the boat used in the commission of the crime to be subject to asset forfeiture rules currently imposed on automobiles.

“SB 393 is a simple measure, but it shouldn’t matter if a person is killed by a car or a boat driven by someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol- the victim is still dead and the vehicle used in the crime should be subject to asset forfeiture,” said Senator Stone.

The legislation was introduced after Senator Stone learned about the death of 10-year-old Sara Margiotta, who was killed on the Colorado River in 2007 when the family’s boat was hit by a drunk boater.

After their daughter was killed on the river, the Margiotta family formed Sara’s Way, a non-profit organization, to raise awareness about the importance of boating safety and the dangers of drinking and boating.
SB 393 will next be heard in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

Senator Stone represents California’s 28th Senate District. The district, which is entirely in Riverside County, stretches from the vineyards of the Temecula Valley to the Colorado River and includes the city of Canyon Lake. For more information, visit senate.ca.gov/stone.