Drunken boaters in New York should soon face more severe punishment if they have previous convictions for driving other vehicles while intoxicated.
A law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo links penalties for boating while intoxicated with prior DWI or driving-while-ability-impaired offenses.
It takes effect in November.
Cuomo says Tuesday that drunken drivers on the water or roadways are a menace, and the law closes a loophole to help convict them as repeat offenders.
It requires a lookback for DWI convictions during the previous five or 10 years at sentencing for boating while intoxicated. The duration depends on the severity of the current offense.
Legislative sponsors say there have been several cases where drunken boaters with suspended driving privileges have been punished as if it were their first offense.