Long Island lawmaker wants stricter boating while intoxicated punishments

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A New York legislator is looking to pass two bills that would bring harsher penalties for boating while intoxicated.

Sen. Jim Gaughran wants to make it a felony to boat while intoxicated with a child 15 or under. Currently, a BWI is a misdemeanor.

The other law would take away your driver's license for a BWI conviction.

"While drunk boaters pose a danger to themselves and others, people who knowingly choose to operate a boat under the influence with a child have made a conscious decision to put that child in harm and as adults we have to step forward in doing something about it," Gaughran says. "It's unacceptable."

Long Islanders Gina Lieneck and Lisa Gaines are on board with the bills. They both lost their daughters to boat accidents.

"In a split second, your lives are forever changed," Gaines said. "You're never the same person, ever again."

Lieneck helped to pass Brianna's Law in honor of her daughter. It requires boat operators to take a training course.

Gaughran also says he plans to ask for more money from the state budget to increase water patrols on Long Island.

 

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