Bill Summary for S 630 (2021-2022)
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AN ACT TO IMPROVE BOATING SAFETY IN NORTH CAROLINA BY AMENDING THE BOATING WHILE INTOXICATED LAWS.Intro. by Edwards.
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Amends GS 75A-10, which makes unlawful the operation of a vessel or manipulation of water skis or like devices in a reckless manner, manipulation of water skis or similar devices under the influence of an impaired substance, and operation of a vessel while under the influence of an impairing substance or after having consumed sufficient alcohol that the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. Adds the following. Allows result(s) of an alcohol screening test or an operator's refusal to submit to be used by a law enforcement officer in determining, is admissible in a court to determine if there is probable cause for believing, or may be used by an administrative agency to determine, if there is reasonable grounds for believing: that the driver committed a violation of the statute, GS 75A-10.3 (death or serious injury by impaired boating) or GS 75A-10.4 (operation of vessel, water skis and personal watercraft by person less than 21 after consuming alcohol or drugs, as enacted); and that the driver consumed alcohol and that the driver had in his or her body previously consumed alcohol, but not to prove particular concentration. Permits negative or law results to be used by the officer, a court, or an administrative agency in determining a person's alleged impairment is caused by an impairing substances other than alcohol in appropriate cases. Conditions alcohol screening test validity upon approval of the Department of Health and Human Services and being conducted pursuant to the Department's regulations regarding its manner and use.
Enacts GS 75A-10.4, making it a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person less than 21 year old to operate a vessel, water skis, or personal watercraft while consuming alcohol or at any time while the person has remaining in his or her body any previously consumed alcohol or controlled substance, excluding lawfully obtained controlled substances taken in therapeutically appropriate amounts. Deems odor of alcohol on the operator's breath insufficient evidence by itself to provide beyond a reasonable doubt that alcohol was remaining in the operator's body in violation of the statutes, unless the operator was offered an alcohol screening test or chemical analysis and refused to provide all required samples. Authorizes the administration of an alcohol screening test to an operator suspected of violation of the statute. Permits the results or refusal to submit to be used by a law enforcement officer, a court, or an administrative agency in determining if alcohol was present in the operator's body. Conditions alcohol screening test validity upon approval of the Department of Health and Human Services and being conducted pursuant to the Department's regulations regarding its manner and use. Deems this offense not a lesser included offense under GS 75A-10. Limits punishment for conviction under the statute and an offense involving impaired driving arising out of the same transaction to the maximum applicable to the offense involving impaired boating, with minimum punishment applicable imposed. Effective October 1, 2021.