Although there have been 12 BUI arrests this holiday weekend, there have been no deaths reported on Georgia's largest and most popular lake, Lake Lanier.
This is excellent news that should be celebrated. Georgia has increased the penalties associated with Boating Under the Influence and has been running a public service campaign to alert people to the risks associated with BUI. The Georgia BUI Laws and Georgia BUI Penalties now parallel the DUI laws. Hall County and Forsyth County prosecutors take these cases seriously and punish repeat offenders severely.
On June 8th, 2014 three people drowned on Lake Lanier, one of whom was a teenager. Since that time, the DNR has increased patrols and will stop any vessel that appears to be operated by someone who is impaired.
Further, DNR officers do not need probable cause, or even reasonable suspicion, to conduct a safety check of your boat. Unlike driving, the DNR can stop your boat and check for a proper number of life jackets and for fire extinguishers. While on your boat, if they suspect the operator to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can begin a Boating Under the Influence investigation.
When you are enjoying a day on any of Georgia's beautiful lakes and waterways, remember to be responsible. Enjoy your summer out on the lake, not in jail.