15 Sep 2014
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Bill Would Lower Georgia's 'Drunk Boater' Legal Limit

The Lake Lanier-inspired bill, which has passed the Senate and is in the House, also would mandate other boating safety changes.

Bill Would Lower Georgia's 'Drunk Boater' Legal Limit

A Georgia bill drafted in response to recent boating fatalities on Lake Lanier would lower the state's BUI limit to that of the limit for motorists. Other boating safety changes also would become law.

Senate Bill 136, which was co-sponsored by a Gwinnett legislator, specifically has some acts titled the "Jake and Griffin Prince BUI Law" and the "Kile Glover Boat Education Law."

The bill passed the state Senate on March 1 by a 50-0 vote and now is in the House. The 2013 legislative session ends March 22.

The bill would lower the legal blood-alcohol limit for boat operators to 0.08 grams, the same as that for motorists. Gov. Nathan Deal called for such a move last June.

Also, it would require that Georgia boaters meet training requirements and
wear life jackets at an extended age, according to a Lake Lanier news release.

-- How do you feel about these proposed changes? What else might need to be done about safety on Lake Lanier? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

According to the news release, Sen. Renee Untermann, R-Buford, one of the bill's sponsors, told the Augusta Chronicle: “I know that Senate Bill 136 is a statewide bill, but in particular Lake Lanier, because of the urbanization of the area and the encroachment in direct relationship with Atlanta, we have an overpopulation, especially on holidays. Unfortunately, we’ve had several instances of boating accidents and boating drownings.”

Last June, brothers Griffin and Jake Prince of Buford were killed when a boat slammed into the pontoon boat that was carrying them and others. Griffin Prince's body was found after a nine-day search.

Johns Creek business owner Paul Bennett of Cumming has been indicted in connection with the Prince deaths. He faces a May trial date on homicide and boating under the influence charges.

Last July, Atlanta youth Kile Glover died from injuries he sustained when a personal watercraft operator struck him and another youth on the lake.The youths were in an inner tube being pulled by a larger boat.

. Kile Glover was the former stepson of Johns Creek resident and entertainer Usher Raymond.

The complete Senate Bill 136 is here.

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