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Cuomo Signs Brianna's Law To Improve Boating Safety

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New York State now requires Long Island boaters to take a safety course with the goal of reducing the number of fatal crashes.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Brianna’s Law, which was named after 11-year-old Brianna Lieneck, who died in a boating accident on the Great South Bay in 2005.

The new law requires boaters age 10 or older who operate power boats to take a one-time eight-hour safety course.

State Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre was one of the sponsors of the bill.               

“For me it's just, when my daughter goes to school, I make sure that she is safe, it’s just more of a, one it’s closure for the Lieneck family, and two it’s just making sure that we can protect other families from going through what they’re going through”

Lieneck’s family advocated for the bill in Albany and on Long Island for years. The bill was passed in the state legislature with bipartisan support.

State lawmakers are also proposing making boating while intoxicated with children aboard a felony. Another proposal includes boaters having their driver’s license suspended upon conviction.

State Senator Jim Gaughran supports the proposed legislation.                    

“If you are convicted of boating while intoxicated, it will obviously take away your right to operate a boat, but I also believe there needs to be for the police and government to also take away your driver’s license.”

A Class E felony would result in a 1- to 4-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $5,000.