Criminal use of drones penalties fly to governor
By Nicole Hernandez
INDIANAPOLIS — The General Assembly is working to keep up with drone technology.
Senate Bill 299, which creates penalties for Hoosiers who fly drones and knowingly violate a person’s privacy, is headed to the governor’s desk for his consideration.
Under this legislation, misuse of a drone includes the following:
- a sex offender operating a drone to capture inappropriate images or recordings of individuals
- using a drone to interfere with public safety
- committing aerial voyeurism
- committing aerial harassment.
The offender would face a Class A misdemeanor, which would likely result in probation but could include up to a year in jail. The penalties would take effect on July 1.
The Senate voted 47-1 Tuesday. Only Sen. Lonnie Randolph voted against the bill, authored by Sen. Eric Koch, R-Bedford.
“When we’re dealing with these unmanned aerial vehicles, what happens if you’ve got a kid doing it? Are you going to hit a kid with a felony? I just think it’s too new,” Randolph said.
Randolph wants more data on violations before legislators take action.
Nicole Hernandez is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.