Deal: Boating Under the Influence law working - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Deal: Boating Under the Influence law working

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(WTVM) -

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

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

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

"For too long, holiday weekends meant for remembrance and for makingnew memories have taken a tragic turn due to preventable boating incidents,"says Deal. "During the 2013 legislative session, I worked to combat BoatingUnder 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 aboat."

Beginning July 1, a DNR approved boater education course is requiredof 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 orwatch a rental boat education video at the boat livery. The DNR safe boatingpractices education video for rental boats was released this week and can befound here.

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