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Article updated: 4/25/2013 4:04 PM

Drunken boaters could lose their driver's licenses

Anthony Borcia

Anthony Borcia

Julie Morrison

Julie Morrison

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SPRINGFIELD -- Drunken boaters could lose their licenses to drive cars under a plan approved by the Illinois Senate Thursday.

The plan stems from the death 10-year-old Anthony "Tony" Borcia of Libertyville. Borcia was killed last year when he was riding a tube pulled by a pontoon boat and was hit by a motorboat.

The driver, David Hatyina of Bartlett, has pleaded guilty to operating a boat under the influence.

Borcia's aunt is state Sen. Julie Morrison, a Deerfield Democrat, who wants tougher penalties for boaters who drive drunk.

She has said threatening to take away boaters' ability to drive cars could help deter drunken boating and avoid future deaths like Borcia's.

The Illinois Senate approved Morrison's plan by a 54-0 vote. It only applies to operating motorboats, so drunken canoe paddlers, for example, wouldn't face a loss of their driver's license.

The proposal now moves to the Illinois House.

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