The Law Behind Boating Under the Influence in Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

As a Georgia BUI Lawyer, my firm also specializes on boating under the influence in Georgia. Interestingly enough, most people are unaware that boating under the influence is against the law in the state of Georgia.

The Boat Safety Act of Georgia prohibits persons from boating under the influence. You can find the Boat Safety Act of Georgia here.

In today's post I will outline the law behind BUI in Georgia as well as the penalties faced if someone is convicted of this offense.

Boating Under the Influence in Georgia

By law, boating under the influence is defined as:

Operating any boat, personal watercraft (jet skis, wave runners), water skis, sailboat, or sailboard while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Also, it is illegal for an owner of a boat or personal watercraft to let anyone operate their boat or personal watercraft while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Every person convicted of violating this Code section shall, upon a first or second conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor; upon a third conviction thereof, be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor; and upon a fourth or subsequent conviction thereof, be guilty of a felony. Georgia BUI Penalties include the following punishments for a first BUI conviction:

  • A fine between $300 and $1,000.
  • A period of imprisonment of not fewer than ten days nor more than 12 months, which period of imprisonment may, at the sole discretion of the judge.
  • At least 40 hours of community service.
  • Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.
  • A clinical evaluation.
  • A probation of 12 months less any days during which the person is actually incarcerated.

Practice Notes

Many of the cases we handle are cases of BUI in Lake Lanier. Lake Lanier is one of many lakes in Georgia as well as one of the most popular summer spots in the state. The lake is particularly popular for boaters and jet skiers from May until September. 

According to the most recent statistics, an average of 7.5 million people visit Lake Lanier every year. This also means that there is more of a chance that mistakes or wrongful accusations of boating under the influence will happen. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with BUI, contact our offices today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!