New Jersey moves to make drink droning illegal

Lawmakers in New Jersey have proposed a bill that would make it illegal to operate a done while under the influence of alcohol in a bid to reduce irresponsible use of the remote-controlled devices.

If passed, the bill would would prohibit the use of drones under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or using a drone to harm wildlife or endanger people or property, as reported by northjersey.com.

The bill would also make it a fourth-degree crime for drone operators to interfere with emergency services, or endanger the security of a correctional facility. Such crimes would be punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Surveilling a correctional facility with a drone would be a third-degree crime, while using an unmanned craft to get around a restraining order would also be a violation.

The bill, which passed out of a New Jersey assembly committee on Monday, will go before the dull senate on Thursday.

“Drones have become increasingly disruptive, causing near-misses with airplanes, interfering with firefighter operations and being used to smuggle drugs and other contraband into prisons,” one of the bill’s sponsors, Democratic Assemblywoman Annette Quijano of Union County, said in a statement.

“This bill sets specific guidelines for how New Jersey’s residents are able to utilize these devices to establish some order and help prevent these dangerous situations.”

Consumer drone sales in the US have increased massively over the past few years, and are expected to keep growing.

The Consumer Technology Association projects drone sales will cross the $1 billion mark by the end of 2017, while NPD Group, another research firm, has estimated that US sales of drones more than doubled in the 12-month period ending February 2017, having increased by 117%.

The majority of drones sold weigh less than 0.55 pounds, which is the limit before registration is not required with the Federal Aviation Administration.

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