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New Jersey Drone DUI Law: No Getting Buzzed or Flying High

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By    |   Wednesday, 10 January 2018 08:49 AM

A New Jersey drone DUI law has been overwhelming approved by legislators, but it remained unclear whether the bill will be signed by Gov. Chris Christie before he leaves office Jan. 16.

Without a single no vote, the state assembly and state senate passed the bill to punish impaired drone operators with six months in prison or a $1,000 fine, the tech site Gizmodo reported.

Christie hasn’t commented on the legislation, Gizmodo said, and he could leave the bill for incoming Gov. Phil Murphy to sign.

"The use of drones has increased dramatically in recent years for a variety of purposes," State Sen. Paul Sarlo told NJ Advance Media in December. "There are many benefits for commercial and recreational purposes but they can also pose threats to safety, security and privacy. The technology has outpaced regulations."

The need for such legislation was highlighted in 2015 when an off-duty employee of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency flew a 2-foot-by-2-foot "quadcopter" from a friend's apartment balcony and lost control of it over the White House grounds, The New York Times reported, noting he reportedly had been drinking.

Reuters reported that 3.1 million drones were sold in the United States last year, up 28 percent from 2016, according to Richard Kowalski, manager for the Consumer Technology Association.

"This was the first year that drone revenues reached $1 billion," Kowalksi told the news agency.

Amanda Essex, senior policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures, told Reuters that nine states prohibit drones from operating near or over prisons – Arizona, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Essex added that at least 38 states are currently considering restrictions on drone legislation this year, including Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

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A New Jersey drone DUI law has been overwhelming approved by legislators, but it remained unclear whether the bill will be signed by Gov. Chris Christie before he leaves office Jan. 16.
new jersey, drone, dui law
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2018-49-10
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 08:49 AM
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