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Boating measure clears Kentucky Senate panel

Associated Press

FRANKFORT - Law enforcement officers on Kentucky's waterways would have to meet stricter standards to justify stopping and boarding recreational boats under a bill making headway in the General Assembly.

Republican Sen. Chris Girdler - whose districts includes the Lake Cumberland region, a boating and fishing haven - said Thursday his measure is aimed at protecting boaters from overzealous officers.

Boating and fishing are big businesses in Kentucky. Complaints by boaters - many coming from other states - that law officers are looking for excuses to inspect vessels are bad for business, he said.

The bill would require officers to have "reasonable and articulable suspicion" that a law has been broken in order to stop or inspect a boat. That provision would set a greater burden of proof for officers, Girdler said.

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