It is that time of the year; the sun is shining and the weather is warm. Friends and families are ready to go camping, boating and skiing. Beware though, if you’re a New Yorker; the New York Senate is pushing to get laws for boaters convicted of intoxication changed. If the bill passes it could mean stricter laws, including for those under age 21.
The Senate wants to get a new law passed regarding alcohol related boating convictions for those who are under 21 years of age. Currently, boaters 21 years and older who are convicted of boating while intoxicated, have to attend boating safety class and receive a certificate.
This is mandatory for them to be able to (legally) operate a boat again. However, there are no standards set for those who are under 21 and caught operating under the influence. This new bill the Senate is trying to pass would address that issue.
The bill, now in the Assembly to be deliberated, would change the age restriction. This means even a person under 21 who is convicted of boating while intoxicated will have to attend a boating safety class and receive a safety certificate before being allowed to operate a boat again.
Coast Guard statistics for the years of 2005 through 2009 shows there were 75 boating accidents for New York that was the direct result of alcohol use. Out of those 75 accidents, 29 people were killed and 77 people injured. Across the U.S. in 2009 there were a total of 4,730 boating accidents that involved 736 deaths and 3,358 injuries. Alcohol use was listed as the leading factor in boating accidents, and lead cause for 16 percent of the deaths.