OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A couple of new laws hot off of Governor Jay Inslee's desk gets tough on boaters operating under the influence.
On Thursday, Inslee signed a bill that changes Washington's boating safety laws.
The biggest change coming strengthens Washington's BUI law by making the penalty for BUI a gross misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and 364 days
Additionally, the law now allows for implied consent, which means an
officer can require a boat operator to take a breath or blood test if the
officer believes the operator is boating under the influence. If the operator
refuses, they could be issued a $1,000 civil infraction.
law gives marine law enforcement officers the ability to hold negligent or
reckless boaters accountable and the authority to issue citations for vessel
accidents they did not witness.
Currently, when an officer is investigating a vessel
accident, like a vessel-to-vessel collision, and it's determined a boat operator
caused the accident by breaking a boating safety law, the officer can arrest the
operator for criminal violations or issue a citation for an infraction.