Thursday November 26th, 2015 7:23AM

Boating safety legislation introduced in the State Senate

By B.J. Williams News Director
ATLANTA - Boating safety was a key component in Governor Nathan Deal's State of the State address last month; this week, lawmakers representing areas around Lake Lanier introduced the legislation the governor has wanted.

State Senator Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, introduced Senate Bill 136, designed specifically to increase boating safety on Georgia's lakes and other waterways. The bill is called the 'Kile Glover Boat Education Law' and 'Jake and Griffin Prince BUI Law,' named for the victims of two deadly accidents last summer on Lake Lanier.

Miller said a key component of the legislation brings BUI levels in line with DUI levels, making it illegal to operate watercraft with a blood alcohol level of more than .08. The current level for BUI is .10.

"The U.S. Coast Guard attributes over 50% of all boating fatalities each year to alcohol," said Miller. "That statistic also holds true in Georgia."

Miller said the Department of Natural Resources also worked closely with area lawmakers to develop the legislation, so one component of the bill lowers the limit for hunting under the influence to .08 from .10.

He says another key part of the proposed law involves vessel operation. Anyone between the ages of 12-15 would be allowed to operate personal watercraft with adult supervision.

"Also, if you're renting a personal watercraft or a boat, it provides for a brief educational component [to learn] basic operating procedures [of the craft]," said Miller. "It also provides for boater education for young people born after January 1, 1998."

Miller also said lifejacket laws will change so Georgia laws are in line with U.S. Coast Guard laws.

So far, he said he has heard nothing but positive comments about the legislation and feels certain it will pass easily.

"There have been questions, of course, there always will be. But the prospect of it passing, particularly in light of the tragic accidents that occurred on Lake Lanier this past year, make this legislation even more timely."
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Dems, GOP seek to define issue for 2014 elections
Ten months to next year's midterm elections, Democrats are determined to make Congress' slim production of fewer than 60 laws and plenty of incompletes - on immigration, gun control, tax reform and basic spending bills - a defining issue, heaping much of the blame on the GOP-led House for obstructing President Barack Obama's second-term agenda.
1:38PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
Mexican sales tax hike seen as boon on US border
Mexican license plates are common in parking lots of shopping malls in U.S. border cities. They will be even more familiar after Mexico raises its federal sales tax in border regions to match the rest of the country, say merchants and shoppers.
11:06AM ( 1 year ago )
Security tight for Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City; 3 million spectators expected
NEW YORK (AP) — As millions of Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, security will be tight in New York City with a record number of police officers patrolling the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Da...
6:11AM ( 1 hour ago )
Gainesville to lease vacant Community Service Center space to foster family advocacy group
Should the Gainesville City Council give their approval to a lease agreement at a voting session Tuesday evening, SAFFT will occupy vacant space at the Gainesville Community Service Center on Prior Street, and the sooner the better according to SAFFT’s Executive Director Ashley Anderson.
5:00AM ( 2 hours ago )
Obama grants reprieve to turkeys 'Honest' and 'Abe' during White House ceremony
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spared two turkeys named for one of the nation's most admired presidents, continuing a White House tradition that provides a refreshing sense of amusement and...
9:18PM ( 10 hours ago )
The big getaway: Thanksgiving travelers hit the road and pack airports, despite terror fears
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The big Thanksgiving getaway went into full swing Wednesday with drivers delighted by the lowest November gas prices in years and many airline passengers undaunted by terrorism fear...
7:10PM ( 12 hours ago )
Traffic slowed Wed. afternoon by overturned dump truck on Candler Hwy.
Traffic was slowed on Candler Highway in Gainesville Wednesday afternoon because of an overturned dump truck near Cottrell Trailers.
3:39PM ( 15 hours ago )