NC law strengthens drunken boating penalties

NEW BERN, NC (WNCT) – There’s a new warning for boaters heading out on the water this season.

In North Carolina, boaters are now subject to stiffer penalties if caught drinking and boating. Sheyenne’s Law makes impaired boating causing serious injury or death a felony.

Many boaters across the East said this law is needed.

“I’m not sure boaters have always been thoughtful about drinking and when they’re out on their boats as perhaps drivers of cars have been,” said Rick Rountree, a boater in New Bern. “It’s always a worry in the back of your mind, is that other boaters who’s out there with me, have they been drinking more than they should have?”

The new law is named for Sheyenne Marshall, a 17 year old who was killed after being hit by a boat near Charlotte.

The law took effect December 1st, 2017.

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