Lake Lanier, Ga. - According to reports off of Lake Lanier, the body of a man was discovered near Duckett Mill Road in Northwest Hall County. Authorities are still investigating how the man died but as of right now, they are thinking that it was a boating related accident.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I handle BUI cases quite frequently within the state of Georgia. Surprisingly, there is a higher concentration of BUI arrests per operator than DUI arrests per driver in Georgia.
Boating can be a very dangerous activity. And our message to anyone who enjoys the pastime of boating is to BE SAFE! There are many different lakes in the state of Georgia, and all of them have experienced busy waters this past July Fourth Weekend. The busiest lakes are Lake Allatoona (Cobb, Cherokee, and Bartow), Lake Oconee (Morgan, Greene, and Putnam), Lake Hartwell (Hart, Stephens, and Franklin) and Lake Lanier (Forsyth, Hall, and Dawson).
During the Independence Day Weekend, a number of Georgians will take to the lakes and various waterways. But as mentioned above, it is important to be safe and to remember that accidents do happen. Boating under the influence in Georgia is a serious crime and can lead to devastating incidents on Georgia lakes.
Here are some tips to stay on top of safe boating practices:
- Use life jackets/vests! All boats are required to have personal flotation devices that are the appropriate size and type for each passenger on board.
- Check your boat's passenger limit or weight limit so you know how many people it can safely carry, along with any needed equipment.
- Use navigational lighting at night to avoid collisions and other dangers.
- Keep your speed under control!
- Be aware and steer clear of other boaters/water crafts nearby.
- Make sure you know Georgia's boating laws before getting behind the wheel of a boat.
- Have a designated operator if you and other boat passengers will be consuming alcohol.
The majority of Georgia's boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities involve alcohol consumption.
BUI charges result in fines, jail time, and loss of boating privileges. Georgia's BUI and DUI laws are very similar. Most BUI charges happen when boating police stop a vessel to make safety checks for life jackets/vests and fire extinguishers. These safety checks can be done at any time and for any reason. Although police may do safety checks without justification, they are not allowed to begin a BUI investigation without some sign of alcohol/drug use. These signs can include red, glassy eyes, detecting an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and open/empty alcohol containers.
If boating police or DNR officers pull you over on the lake, remember to stay calm and be cooperative. Say as little as possible and instruct your passengers to remain quiet and refrain from any suspicious activity.
Again - be safe by using life jackets while you are out boating and drinking responsibly. And if you or a loved one has been arrested or cited for BUI in Georgia, contact our offices now.