Laws against operating a boat while intoxicated apply to sailboats as well as motorboats, but not canoes.


Q: Do the laws against boating while intoxicated apply to boats without motors, such as sailboats or canoes?

— Quad-City sailboater

A: Good question as the summer boating season begins.

Susan Stocker, boating law administrator and education coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, tells us that the law applies to sailboats and boats with motors, but not smaller hand-powered recreational vessels such as canoes or kayaks.

The limit now is a 0.08 blood-alcohol level, the same as driving a motor vehicle. The limit was lowered from .10 in 2011 in Iowa to match other states and road driving rules.

The limit is the same in Iowa and Illinois.

A first offense in Iowa is a serious misdemeanor, punishable by jail term of at least two days, $1,000 fine and the boater is prohibited from operating a motorboat or sailboat for one year and has to go to substance abuse evaluation and treatment. A second offense is an aggravated misdemeanor, with at least seven days in jail, $1,500 to $5,000 fine, two years of no boating, substance abuse eval and treatment and a course for drinking drivers. For third and subsequent offenses, the jail term goes up to 30 days to 1 year in jail, the fine is $2,500 to $7,500 fine and the prohibition of boat operation is six years.

Q: Recently there was an Ask the Times question about a detour on the Duck Creek path in Davenport for the sewer tunnel work. I’d like to know what the status of the Davenport riverfront trail is with respect to the work at the water company. It’s been closed for about six months now.

— Jeff, Bettendorf 

A: Trail users will have to wait a while longer for the Davenport recreation trail to open around Iowa American Water because of the floodwall project.

Mark Pratt, a project engineer from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of the work, said the agency had hoped to be able to open the trail during the first week of July, but recent rains and flooding on the Mississippi River set the date back to mid- to late July.

“Our goal is to get the bike path open as soon as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, the entire floodwall protection project is on track to be completed by Nov. 3, he said.

Q: What is Tom Hudson’s connection to Iowa? He is on the nightly business report on IPTV every evening.

A: Tom Hudson grew up in Davenport, where his parents still live, and graduated from the University of Iowa.

(Answers provided by Times community editor Linda Watson and Call the Courier.)