Deal: Boating Under the Influence law working -, GA News Weather & Sports

Deal: Boating Under the Influence law working

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Just over a year after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law legislation regarding alcohol and boating, the Governor's office announces that a preliminary report indicates the law is working and saving lives.

The law, which went into effect May 15, 2013, lowered the blood-alcohol content limit for boaters from a .10 to a .08, mimicking the limit set for automobiles. It also increased penalties for those caught boating while intoxicated. Right away, the law lead to an increase in enforcement and arrests before tapering down in 2014 after public awareness campaigns and higher penalties deterred Boating Under the Influence (BUI).

Now, a preliminary report has documented 10 less BUI arrests on Memorial Day in 2014 than the same holiday the year before.

"For too long, holiday weekends meant for remembrance and for making new memories have taken a tragic turn due to preventable boating incidents," says Deal. "During the 2013 legislative session, I worked to combat Boating Under the Influence because I, along with the majority of the General Assembly, thought if you were too drunk to drive a car, you were too drunk to drive a boat."

Beginning July 1, a DNR approved boater education course is required of all boat operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1998. Anyone renting a boat, regardless of age, is required to provide proof of a boater education course or watch a rental boat education video at the boat livery. The DNR safe boating practices education video for rental boats was released this week and can be found here.

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