A Senate bill signed Friday by Gov. Jay Inslee aims to crack down on boaters operating under the influence.
The law changes will mean stricter penalties for boaters operating under the influence and more authority for marine law enforcement officers.
After the changes go into effect July 28, boating under the influence will be a gross misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and 364 days in jail, according to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.
Currently, a BUI is punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and 90 days in jail.
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Senate Bill 5437, also known as the boating safety bill, requires boat operators to take a breath test or blood test if officers believe the person is under the influence. If the person refuses, a $1,000 fine could be imposed.
The changes also give officers the ability to write citations for accidents they did not witness and arrest operators who caused accidents by breaking boating safety laws.