North Carolina has toughened penalties for boat operators who unintentionally kill or injure someone while under the influence of alcohol.
Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law making the penalties for impaired boaters who cause injuries or fatalities similar to those that motorists receive. The bill signing comes after a Concord teenager was killed last year by a boater authorities say was intoxicated while on Lake Norman.
Beginning Dec. 1, death by impaired boating will be a class of felony punishable by a minimum of a little more than three years in prison. The current penalty for driving a boat while impaired is misdemeanor with a minimum $250 fine.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission says alcohol was involved in at least seven of 24 fatal boat accidents in 2015.
Topics North Carolina
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