Updated: Friday, 29 May 2009, 7:16 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 29 May 2009, 7:16 PM EDT
Hartford (WTNH) - Penalties for drunken boaters who cause a death are being
boosted in Connecticut to mirror those faced by intoxicated motor
The state House of Representatives voted unanimously Friday for the tougher law, previously approved by the Senate.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell pushed for the change and is expected to sign the bill, which would take effect July 1.
Currently, intoxicated boaters who cause someone's death can be charged with reckless operation of a vessel, a crime with fines up to $5,000 and up to two years in prison.
The new measure would let authorities charge those people with manslaughter with a vessel, making it a felony similar to motor vehicle law. Penalties include fines up to $10,000, up to 10 years in prison, or both.