Proposed Law to Make Boating Safer

Jan 15, 2013

Although Georgia’s recreational boating industry is worth over $2 billion dollars, state laws are much more relaxed on waterways than on highways.

State Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville)
Credit Georgia State Senate

Georgia Senator Butch Miller of Gainesville wants to change that.

Georgia is currently one of eight states where the legal alcohol limit for operating a boat is higher than for driving a car.

Senator Miller’s proposed law would make the legal alcohol limits for driving a boat and driving a car equal.

“The safety and welfare of the entire boating and fishing population is put at risk by a few people who insist on drinking to excess and operating a boat,” he says.

The law would also raise the age of children who are required to wear life jackets from ten to thirteen years old.

It would also require boaters born in or after 1998 to take a free safety course.

“We want to make sure that future generations are well-equipped and well-educated to operate boats safely on the waters in Georgia,” Miller says.

The bill also includes provisions on navigation lights for boats and hunting while intoxicated.