Some Long Islanders worry BWI offenders aren't getting strict penalties

Similar to Long Island roads, surrounding waterways are getting more crowded and police say approximately a third of all accidents in boats are caused by alcohol.

State Senator Charles Fuschillo (R-Freeport) is working to toughen drunk boating laws because penalties are less severe. A boating while intoxicated (BWI) offender receives a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail, while a person driving while intoxicated receives a $1,000 fine, up to a year in jail and a mandatory revocation of the license.

The Nassau County Marine Bureau and the Coast Guard say they plan to continue their stringent BWI enforcement using boats and helicopters. Police say a way to immediately toughen BWI penalties is to require boaters to be licensed. Repeated offense could mean automatic boating license revocation.

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