TOUGH new marine laws giving police the power to test boaters for illegal drugs came into effect this month.
Water Police can test jet-ski and boat operators for drugs and alcohol. Under the state government reform, the blood-alcohol limit for commercial and recreational boaters under the age of 21 has been lowered from 0.05 per cent to zero.
The fine for not wearing a life jacket has risen to $282, and the penalty for operating a vessel without a licence is $704.
Premier Ted Baillieu said the new laws coincide with the launch of a Water Police summer campaign targeting watercraft users who flout the law.
Six people died on Victorian waters in the 12 months from July 2011 to June 2012 and the Water Police attended more than 1000 marine search-and rescue-incidents between November 2011 and March 2012.