ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law on Tuesday to strengthen the state’s boating while intoxicated laws.
According to the governor’s office, “Tiffany Heitkamp’s Law” will strengthen penalties for boating while intoxicated offenses by linking them to prior drinking while driving offenses involving a vehicle.
The law requires courts to consider prior Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) convictions when sentencing a person for Boating While Intoxicated or Boating While Ability Impaired.
“Whether behind the wheel of a car or a boat, drunk drivers are a danger to themselves and a menace to others,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new law closes this loophole and will help keep these dangerous individuals off our roads and waterways, avoiding more senseless tragedies.”
Under current law, there is no link between prior DWI and DWAI offenses.
According to the governor’s office, the measure will require a court to impose a higher sentence on those who repeatedly get behind the wheel while in an intoxicated state whether it’s a car or a boat.