Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison recently signed legislation that makes boating while intoxicated penalties exactly the same as DWI penalties.
The parents of William “Trey” Varner III, 21, who was killed when the intoxicated driver of the boat he was riding in crashed into a docked house boat, were instrumental in the passing of the new law.
Texarkana representatives Sen. Jimmy Hickey and Rep. Prissy Hickerson sponsored Senate Bill 81 which strengthened Arkansas BWI laws.
COMBINING THE OFFENSES OF DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED AND BOATING WHILE INTOXICATED; CONCERNING THE OMNIBUS DWI ACT, THE UNDERAGE DUI LAW, SUSPENSIONS OF A PERSON’S DRIVER’S LICENSE, AND VEHICLE REGISTRATION.
Bill and Sandy Varner were at the capital in Little Rock as Governor Hutchison signed the legislation Tuesday March 3, 2015.
The new legislation also combines BWI and DWI. Meaning that if a person has two BWI violations and then gets a DWI they will be charged as a third time offender.