- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The General Assembly is toughening penalties for boat operators who cause death or injury while driving under the influence, a bill prompted after authorities say a Concord teenager was killed last summer by a boat whose driver was intoxicated.

The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to create penalties for impaired boat drivers who unintentionally kill or injure someone similar to the punishment drivers on the road would receive.

The proposal would make death by impaired boating a class of felony punishable by a minimum of little more than three years in prison.

The current penalty for driving a boat while impaired is misdemeanor with a minimum $250 fine.

The bill will now be sent to Gov. Pat McCrory, who will have 10 days to act on it.

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