House OKs lower alcohol limits for boat operators

ATLANTA (AP) – Reacting to high-profile deaths on Lake Lanier, the Georgia House of Representatives has approved a proposal to lower the allowable blood-alcohol limits for hunters and anyone driving a water vessel in the state. Senate Bill 136 would set the limit at .08 grams per 100 grams of blood (.08 percent), where it already stands for anyone operating a motor vehicle on Georgia roads. The sportsmen's limit is currently .10 grams, where it has remained in the years since lawmakers adopted tougher DUI laws for motorists. The bill cleared the House with little opposition. Because of changes in the lower chamber, the measure now must go back to the Senate for further consideration, but it is expected to pass easily and head to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature. Deal highlighted the idea in his State of the State address in January. The governor said at the time that anyone who is too drunk to drive on the road is too drunk to drive on the water.
"Passing this bill will save lives in Georgia," said House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey of Atlanta. Various sections of the new law are named for Kile Glover of Atlanta and Griffin and Jake Prince of Buford, all victims who were killed in water accidents last year. The 11-year-old Glover was killed while riding in a tube being pulled by a boat. The tube was struck by a water vessel being driven by Jeffrey Hubbard, a family friend who has since been indicted in the case by a Hall County grand jury on several charges related to the accident. The Prince brothers - Griffin was 13; Jake was 9 - died after their family's pontoon boat was struck by a boat being operated by Paul Bennett of Cumming. He faces a May trial date for homicide and boating under the influence. Authorities at the Department of Natural Resources have long noted the discrepancy in alcohol limits. They've also noted that enforcement remains difficult on the water regardless of the limits, because there are no marked lanes, making it harder to have probable cause for pulling over a boat operator. © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


More Local

Ferst Foundation holds annual CCSS coin drive

In its eighth year of holding a coin drive to benefit the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, the Coweta County School System raised mo ... Read More


Movie studio decision could have 'chilling effect'

The recent release of “The Interview,” staring Seth Rogan and James Franco, has been cancelled due to threats of violence at the ... Read More


Senoia Redneck Gourmet to close

After six successful years, Casey Smith has decided to close the doors of the Redneck Gourmet in Senoia. As the owner of both the Newnan and ... Read More


One Roof to reopen Jan. 5 in new location

Friday was One Roof’s last day at its former location in the old Playtex plant on Temple Avenue. The store will reopen January 5 in t ... Read More


Boys & Girls Club

NHS student one of top youths of year

After months of preparation, a Newnan High School student was honored as one of the top youths of the year by the Boys and Girls Club of Met ... Read More

Thousands of lights on display on Hannah Road

It’s hard to miss the Bentons’ Christmas decorations as you’re driving down Hannah Road south of Newnan. The Bentons, who ... Read More