Gov Deal announced at Lake Lanier that the new law lowering the blood alcohol level for boat operators goes into effect today. The blood alcohol limit for boating under the influence is now .08, the same level as driving under the influence. The law applies to hunters as well.
"The law represents the many lives that alcohol-related accidents have claimed on our waterways and, more importantly, it represents the many others whom this law will save," Deal said.
In addition to the lowered BAC limit, education mandates will be phased in over the next year. By next summer, anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1998 must complete a boat education course prior to operating a vessel.
The safety of Georgia's waterways is a serious matter. Currently, alcohol is a contributing factor in more than 50 percent of boating fatalities each year. Deal hopes that these new mandates will help lower that percentage significantly.
"The law is now in effect. Know it; honor it; and strengthen it," Deal said. "Together, we will save lives and make a better state in which to live."