Bismarck, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota law says boaters, hunters and
snowmobilers can be a bit drunker than someone who’s driving a car,
and the state House has decided to keep it that way.
Six years ago, the Legislature lowered the legal blood-alcohol
limit for drivers on the road from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent.
The limit stayed at 0.10 percent for boaters, water skiers, hunters
Representatives voted 55-37 on Tuesday to reject a proposal to
make the lower limit the same for all groups.
Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot, said the legal limit for driving
probably would not have been lowered in 2003, if not for the threat
of losing federal highway funds.
He said he doubted the higher limit would make much difference
in the enforcement of prohibitions against drunken hunting and
“If you’re in a boat, and you’re 0.10 (percent), and you get on
the road to leave the lake, you’re going to be in a DUI situation
anyway,” he said. “Certainly, if somebody is out driving around
hunting, and they’re driving, it’s a 0.08 (limit) already, so it
doesn’t really matter if it’s 0.10.”
Rep. Robert “Tork” Kilichowski, D-Minto, who sponsored the
legislation to make the limits uniform, said law enforcement
officers asked him to introduce the measure.
“It doesn’t change any of the penalties that are in place for
boaters, hunters, snow catters,” Kilichowski said. “I think it’s a
good bill, just to put consistency in the law.”