Don't drive your boat drunk - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Don't drive your boat drunk

LAKE BLACKSHEAR, GA (WALB) -

A tougher boating under the influence is now in effect making the new legal limit for BUI's the same for drivers on Georgia's roads.

State leaders were at Lake Blackshear, a stop on their "where the rudder meets the road tour" to spread the word that driving under the influence will not be tolerated.

State and local law agencies are teaming up and cracking down on boaters operating a vessel under the influence.

"Boaters can expect when they are coming to the ramps of their favorite recreation areas to and from, they could see our troopers conducting road checks," said Commissioner of Georgia Department of Public Safety Col. Mark McDonough.

The legal limit for Boating under the influence was lowered from a .10 to a .08 and is now in effect, the same as it is for folks driving a car.

"So for the folks coming to the lake we can check to make sure they aren't under the influence, and make sure they aren't under the influence leaving the lake," said Col. Mark McDonough.

Tuesday, officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia State Patrol and Governors Office of Highway Safety teamed up for day one of their state wide tour. On Tuesday, state officials met up with local leaders at Veterans Park at Lake Blackshear in hopes of getting the message across that unsafe drivers, on the road and in the water, will not be tolerated.

"You lower the limit, then more people will qualify for being legal dui so yes, I think there will be an increase," said Cpl. Bob Holley of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Drunk driving is a problem in Georgia, and leaders want to keep folks safe. Last year, five people in Georgia died or were injured due to drinking and operating a vessel.  The law comes after a tragic boating accident last June where two brothers were killed on Lake Lanier.

"We will stop a boat the same way we stop a car on the highway and  So, DNR Rangers will be out in full force, looking for folks who could meet that criteria. We received special training on the detection of BUI, the sentimental aspect will be a bit of a challenge, but we've received some good training," said Cpl. Bob Holley.

That's why a designated driver is encouraged on a boat.

"As long as your safe and have a designated driver, we want you to have fun, we want you to enjoy lake Blackshear and we want you to come back, just make sure you have a designated driver," said Cpl. Bob Holley.

Officials say the law just makes sense.

"I think if you look at it as you are took intoxicated to drive a car, then you shouldn't drive a vessel," said Cpl. Bob Holley.

 

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