Under new legislation, the King County Sheriff’s Office can impound vessels of people found to be operating boats out on the water while impaired.
The sheriff’s office got the authority after a measure sponsored by King County Council members Rod Dembowski and Reagan Dunn was unanimously approved this week, according to a sheriff’s office release.
Previously, deputies would have impaired boaters call a friend to come pick up their boats.
The legislation also allows deputies to impound drifting or unattended vessels found on during patrols in Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, Puget Sound and many of the lakes and rivers in King County.
“Those that operate boats while under the influence of drugs or alcohol present a serious threat to public safety,” King County Sheriff John Urquhart said in the release. “Councilmember Dembowski and Coucilmember Dunn’s ordinance gives our Marine Unit another tool to hold BUI (boating under the influence) offenders accountable and get our deputies back on the water as soon as possible. I thank them for their leadership on this issue.”