While most New Jersey residents know that they could face serious consequences if they’re convicted of drunk driving or drunk boating, few realize that they can also face penalties even if they have two feet planted firmly on the ground.
Under a bill that was recently approved 65-0 in the NJ state legislature, operating a drone with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher would be listed among New Jersey’s “disorderly persons” offenses. The maximum penalties would include a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
The bill also targets other behaviors surrounding drone use, like knowingly endangering someone’s life or property, harassing wildlife, or interfering with the security of a correctional facility with a drone. A conviction for any of these offenses comes with a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.
NJ Governor Chris Christie Considers Drunk Droning Law
The bill now goes to NJ Governor Chris Christie’s desk for signature.
New Jersey isn’t the only state considering criminal penalties for certain types of drone use. At least 38 states have bills currently in their state legislatures that attempt to restrict certain types of drones or ways to use them.
Many of the bills are in response to recent news reports about drone crashes, like the 2015 crash of a drone on the White House grounds. Some companies have even begun offering crash insurance for drones due to the higher risk of drone accidents, according to Yahoo News.
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