Governor signs tough new boating law

People who drink and drive while boating will face tougher laws under a new law signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday, May 16.

The law, which takes effect July 28, makes boating under the influence a misdemeanor that can carry up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Another major change in the law is that it now allows for implied consent, which means an officer can require the operator of the boat to take a breath or blood test if the officer believes the driver is under the influence. Refusal to take the test can equal up to a $1,000 civil infraction.

The new law also allows marine patrol officers to hold reckless or negligent boaters accountable and gives the officers authority to issue citations for vessel accidents which they did not witness.

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