What Does Georgia Law Say About Boating and Boozing?

As the summer quickly approaches it is time to think about getting the boat summarized and ready to launch.  Many will be packing their boats with supplies and alcohol for their day trips to the lake.  While the combination of alcoholic drinks and a day on the lake can be fun, the statistics have shown it an be deadly.boating accident life preserver red and white

Boating under the influence (BUI) has become a major issue in Georgia despite what many may believe. In 2009 alone, three people died in Georgia and others were injured in a dozen accidents where alcohol was involved.

Statistics have shown that someone operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.10 percent is 10 times more likely to die in a boating accident than someone driving a boat while sober.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard,  Boating under the influence was the leading factor in 16 percent of  all fatal boating accidents in 2009.  This is an extremely alarming number and boaters in Georgia should be aware of how dangerous “booze cruising” can be.

Although forty-two states have a 0.08 percent blood alcohol limit for citing an individual with a BUI,  Georgia is not one of them.

A grassroots group in Georgia has teamed up with state Rep. Kevin Cooke, R-Carrollton, to rectify the BUI issue with House Bill 315. This bill would establish a blood-alcohol limit for boating of 0.08 with would be consistent with the limit for driving a vehicle in Georgia.

With the passage of HB 315, boating while intoxicated would be lowered to 0.08 percent blood-alcohol level, aligning our drunk driving laws for both roadways and waterways.

If you have been injured in a boating accident due to negligence or BUI, then let the Angell Law Firm help you get the settlement you deserve.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Toughen drinking laws on the water“, Andy M. Johnson, 23 March 2011