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Georgia Boating DUI's

By: Sarah Cantey Email
By: Sarah Cantey Email

Before you head out to the lake, you should know about some new boating laws. The new boating under the influence restrictions that went into effect in Wednesday on Georgia.

With temperatures climbing many are heading to Lake Eufaula for a picturesque, relaxing escape.
But unwinding with a few too many drinks could add an unwelcome sound to the soothing landscape.

‘Where the Rudder Meets the Road’ is law enforcements’ saying.

"To have folks under the influence whether they are on the roadway or whether they are on the waterway, there should be the same standard. And that's what the legislation is all about," said Mark McDonough Commissioner GA DPS.
New laws going into effect Wednesday will drop the legal limit of intoxication for boaters from .1 to .08.
Which is the equivalent to one to two beers. Although it's a small amount of alcohol, law enforcement says it will make a big difference.
“It’s going to be a huge difference,” explained McDonough. "The difference between one drink and a couple of beers is the difference between being able to stay in control or lose control. The reaction time is greatly reduced with that additional amount of alcohol.”

The change comes after officials saw drinking becoming a major issue on Georgia waters.

"Statewide we run around 200 boating under the influence cases a year that's an average," said
Chief DNR's Law Enforcement Eddie Henderson.
Police say no lanes and no stop signs add up to a false sense of security for boaters.

"Where's the traffic control out there? A roadway inherently has some very basic things that aid in the safety,” said McDonough.

Officials hope stricter laws will keep boaters in line while enjoying summer fun.

"We are going to hold them accountable before they get on the water and after they get out of the water. The rangers are going to hold them accountable while they are on the waterways,” said McDonough.

BUI punishments will also increase. The first offense carries a $300 fine, community service and jail time.


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