Corbett Signs Legislation Strengthening Penalties against Persons Convicted of Driving Watercraft while under the Influence


While the mother and relatives of a 12-year-old boating accident victim looked on, Gov. Tom Corbett signed new legislation into law this week to strengthen penalties against persons convicted of driving a watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Sponsor of the bill Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) said he was gratified that those who irresponsibly operate boats and watercraft will now receive the same penalties as the drunk drivers who take lives on Pennsylvania highways.

Benninghoff’s bill originated after the 2009 death of Valerie Heidt, who was killed in a Susquehanna River boating accident caused by a man operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol.

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