WASHINGTON -- There will be increased penalties for operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol according to state leaders.
Boating leaders said they worked to amend laws to make boating safer in Washington state. The changes will happen on July 28.
These are some key changes:
- A BUI conviction will become a gross misdemeanor that is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and/or 364 days in jail.
- Officers with probably cause can ask the boat operator to take a breathalyzer test. The operator will be issued a Class 1 Civil Infraction if he or she refuses.
- The maximum penalty for refusal to take a breathalyzer test will be $1,000. But after an additional 105% penalty through the public safety and education assessment, the total fine could reach $2,050.
- An operator's refusal cannot be used as evidence in a subsequent trial.
- The change also added marijuana consideration that is consistent with Initiative 502. The legal limit for boating under the influence of marijuana is 5.0 nanograms.
- Rental boats must now be equipped with necessary safety gear.