As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I represent all different types of criminal cases including boating under the influence cases in Georgia. It is therefore important for me to remind my friends and fellow Georgians to make safe decisions this boating season.
Georgia Boating Laws are specifically designed to ensure that people will have a good time on our lakes and rivers while at the same time operate their vessels carefully.
Georgia laws are strict. This includes both BUI and DUI in Georgia. Georgia DUI Penalties are serious as are BUI penalties. Bottom line – operating any kind of vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is taken very seriously in the state of Georgia.
If charged with a BUI in Georgia, just as with a DUI in Georgia, you only have 10 days to file an appeal to continue your boating privilege. Otherwise, that privilege will be suspended for up to one year. Unlike in a driving case, after the 10 days, your boating privilege will still be suspended up and until you have a an administrate hearing. At the hearing, the DNR Ranger is represented by the Georgia Attorney General's Office, and it is taken very seriously.
Sometimes people ask me why BUI cases are taken as seriously as DUI cases. The answer is quite clear. Boating can be just as – if not more dangerous.
Thousands of people visit Georgia regularly for our waterways. And every year, we have people who are involved in serious and fatal boating accidents. Less than a decade ago, Georgia had a rash of boating fatalities and injuries. Our legislature reacted to those accidents by making our boating laws and penalties similar to our driving laws so that boating would be handled with more safety.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I've listed out some of what I believe to be some tips to ensure safe boating this summer.
Boating Safety Tips
- Do not consume alcohol while operating a vessel
- Have proper safety equipment, including life vests for everyone on board
- Have a properly stocked first aid kit
- Maintain your boat properly
- Check all running lights
- Do not have more people on your boat than recommended by its manufacturer
- Have someone trained in first aid and CPR on your boat if possible
- Obey all rules of the waterway
- Do not consume illicit narcotics
- Come in if you are tired
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid peer pressure
- Obey any lawful order by law enforcement
The lawyers, here, at Lawson and Berry, want you to have a safe boating season in Georgia. And as always, if you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices today. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney is here for you.