Georgia boaters face tougher alcohol limits

Georgia boaters face tougher alcohol limits

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ATLANTA -

Georgia boaters now have a new limit on how much alcohol is too much. Governor Nathan Deal signed a new BUI law named after two brothers who were killed by a suspected drunk boater.
   
The law sets the blood-alcohol limit at .08  --  the same as for drivers on the road.

The Prince family was riding a red pontoon boat when a suspected drunk boater slammed into them last summer. Brothers Jake and Griffin Prince of Buford both died. Investigators say Paul Bennett was intoxicated when he hit them. His trial is set for next month.

Sgt. Mike Burgamy with the Department of Natural Resources says when someone is suspected of boating under the influence, they are given a breath test lakeside.

Under the new BUI law, a blood alcohol limit of .08 or above  means you're under the influence.

"We hope the public will see that we are serious about alcohol enforcement. When it comes to boating you can't be too safe," said Burgamy.

Burgamy hopes the new law named in memory of the Prince boys will have boaters thinking not just about fun, but safety on the water.  

"It really makes us want to go out there and make sure something like that doesn't happen to somebody else," said Burgamy.

The BUI law goes into effect in May. Another boating law change requires children 12 and under to wear a life jacket at all times.

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