It’s a beautiful summer day. You’ve had a few drinks in your backyard and want to have some fun. So, you break out your drone and begin to fly it around, whizzing past trees and impressing your neighbors.
Operating an expensive piece of motorized machinery when under the influence is a bad idea. Sure, it’s probably not as dangerous as operating a car, but flying a drone while intoxicated still presents risks to property and people in the area.
Even in the best of circumstances, with an experienced pilot, the use of drones has the potential to be dangerous enough to damage property and hurt people on the ground. That danger is amplified when a drone operator is under the influence. Even one drink can slow reflexes and reaction time, and when you are operating a flying, motorized piece of equipment where quick reflexes are required, this is an unacceptable risk. You also risk smashing your drone.
Where is it Banned?
In the United States, New Jersey recently moved to ban operating a drone while under the influence. A person found guilty for a drunk-droning offense in New Jersey could serve up to six months in jail and pay a heavy fine. Japan and Canada have also recently banned flying a drone while under the influence. Given the movements of these two large, Western countries, as well as the decision by one state, it is very likely that other states and countries will follow suit in the near future.
Be a Responsible Drone Owner
All drone owners have an obligation to themselves and others around them to use their drone in a safe and responsible manner. This means being aware of all local laws, respecting the privacy of your community members and operating the drone safely. It also means not drinking and operating your drone. Remember, even if you don’t realize it, the first drink can slow your reaction time and potentially inhibit your ability to safely use the drone. This can lead to a disaster for anyone in the nearby vicinity.
Flying a drone can be a blast, but you have to remember that it is more than just a toy. It is a serious piece of equipment, complete with electronics, engines and whirling pieces, all of which are capable of damaging others property and injuring nearby people. Don’t drink and fly. Doing so is a recipe for disaster.
When it comes to drone imagery, leave it to the pros!