It would only make sense that the state of New York would not want people walking around with heavy firearms while intoxicated. The potential for disaster is almost guaranteed under those circumstances. Until Sept. 1, 2019, the legal limit for drinking and hunting was 0.10, but on that date, it was reduced to 0.08, which is the same legal limit for drinking and driving any motor vehicle, including boats.
Each house of the New York legislature passed the amendment by an overwhelming majority. The rationale is that if an individual cannot safely operate a motor vehicle, then hunting should be out of the question as well. Diminished judgment, perception and motor skills are no better for someone hunting than for someone driving after drinking.
Hunters may already know that drunk hunting is enforced under the conservation law and is considered a misdemeanor. A conviction could result in spending up to a year in jail and paying fines up to $500. The individual’s hunting license would also be revoked for two years. Even refusing to participate in a test for intoxication, including a breath test, could also result in the revocation of a person’s hunting license.
Amherst residents arrested on suspicion of drinking and hunting may want to take the charges just as seriously as a driving while intoxicated charge. The penalties are quite real, and a conviction could affect other aspects of an individual’s life as well. It would be prudent to exercise the right to consult an attorney as soon as possible after an arrest.