The popularity of drones is growing at a staggering rate, with sales in 2017 surpassing $1 billion for the first time ever. As is often the case, it didn’t take long for people to use drones for nefarious and just plain stupid purposes. If people are doing these things sober, it makes sense that doing them drunk can result in much more dangerous scenarios. That is why New Jersey has introduced a bill that would ban inebriated or drugged droning, as well as outlaw flying unmanned aircraft systems over prisons and in pursuit of wildlife, accord to Reuters.
The bill would impose a punishment of up to six months prison and a $1,000 fine for those caught drunk droning. “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,” Paul Sarlo, a New Jersey senator and author of the bill, told The Times.
Reuters reports that at least 38 states are considering restrictions on the devices this legislative year, including Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
While this bill may be creating a fear of ‘drunken drones’ flying across skies, it’s worth mentioning all of the positive use-cases involving drones from the past few years.
Drones are an efficient and safe solution when it comes to surveying affected areas after natural disasters. In 2016, a man became trapped in his house due to a major flood. With the help of social media, a drone enthusiast was able to find him and direct a rescue team right to his house.
Drones are also becoming more common when it comes to safeguarding major events. Tethered drones were deployed to safeguard the Boston Marathon last year, and have also watched over the President. The power of drones cannot be understated. However, with great power comes great responsibility. So don’t drink and drone.