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New Laws Lower BAC Limit to Help Reduce Georgia Boating Accidents


Posted on Jun 06, 2013

Following the fatal boating accident on Lake Lanier in which youths Kile Glover and Griffin and Jake Prince were killed last year, new boating laws have been put in place. On Wednesday, May 15, 2013, the new Boating Under the Influence legal limit and other boating safety regulations took effect. 

Lawmakers dropped the limit for drinking and boating to .08, the same level as driving a vehicle on land. The new boating law lowers the legal blood-alcohol content (BAC) limit and adds other safety regulations to help protect boaters. Senate Bill 136 was signed into law in April and announced recently by the governor. 

This new legislation lowers the BAC from .10 to .08 and increases penalties for boaters found to be boating while intoxicated in Georgia. Additionally, the law requires operators of motorized vessels born after January 1, 1998 to take and complete a boater safety education course. The new law also requires that all youths 13-years-old and younger wear life jackets on a moving boat.

Last year, five people suffered boating-related injuries on Georgia waterways in which alcohol was involved. Governor Nathan Deal said the state’s stricter laws to punish boating while under the influence of alcohol should save lives. Now boaters at Lake Lanier in Gwinnett County and across Georgia have to obey the same standards that drivers have to abide by.

This new law comes at the same time that the NTSB proposed that every state lower the blood alcohol content from .08 to .05 for drivers.

We at the Law Offices of Shane Smith hope this new law prevents boating accidents and injuries, as intended.

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Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia