The proposal would lower the current blood-alcohol limit from .10 percent to .08, where it already stands for anyone operating a motor vehicle on Georgia roads. This is to end the hundreds of fatalities and accidents that occur in our Georgia lakes each year.
The Georgia bill was created in response to recent boating deaths on Lake Lanier, and would lower the state's boating under the influence limit– making it a .08, the same legal limit for driving on the streets.
Jon Gridley, Sea Tow owner and operator says, “Boating accidents and fatalities that are alcohol related are on the increase, not only in the Atlanta area, but state wide. So trying to get legislation passed to lower the limits is a fantastic idea.”
Georgia Senate bill 136 would specifically target boaters who have fun on the water, and then try to take it to our streets.
“You could be a .09 in the water, and be legal. Then you put your boat on the trailer you get in the car, you're still a .09 which is illegal to drive a vehicle on the road,” explains Jon Gridley.
Senate bill 136— is also named Kyle Glover Boat Education Law and “Jake and Griffin BUI Law'. The goal of the bill is to provide public protection for hunting and boating. The name comes two young men who passed away this summer on Lake Lanier from an alcohol incident. The most influential death came from R& B rapper, Usher's son who also passed away from a jet skiing accident on the same lake, which became the motive.
“The number of fatalities on Lake Lanier being that it's such a busy lake. Usher's step son was killed last year tragically. Two other boys were also hit by a pontoon boat which was alcohol related,” says Jon Gridley.
With boating season just around the corner, this bill is one – that should get a speedy approval.
Not only would the bill lower the blood alcohol level, it changes the life jacket requirement age from 10 to 13, increases the age limit to operate some boats and watercraft, and requires boating education. The bill now goes to Governor Nathan Deal.