House OKs lower alcohol limits for boat operators - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

House OKs lower alcohol limits for boat operators

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Rob Jordan has heard of too many tragedies on Lake Lanier.

"Alcohol is a big problem," Jordan said. "Boats and jet skis don't have brakes, and when you add alcohol to the mix, it's not a safe situation to be in."

Georgia House lawmakers Wednesday passed a bill that, supporters contend, will make Georgia's waterways safer.

Senate Bill 136 would lower the blood alcohol level for boating under the influence to the same limit as driving under the influence.

Jordan, a fishing guide on the lake, said he would welcome tougher restrictions.

"Passing stricter laws will be better for all of us here on the lake," Jordan said.

The bill is named after Kile Glover as well as Jake and Griffin Prince.

The two brothers died after a man accused of boating while drunk slammed into their boat.

Glover, the son of the ex-wife of pop-star Usher, was killed after a personal watercraft plowed into the raft he was on. Alcohol was not a factor in that case.

State Rep. Chad Nimmer, who sponsored the bill in the House, said the proposal would lower the blood alcohol level for piloting a boat and for hunting down to 0.08, the same as for driving drunk.

"This bill will prevent tragedies from happening," Nimmer said. "As a dad, it tells me I'm doing what I can to help protect my children and other children in Georgia as well as adults who enjoy the waterways."

State Sen. Butch Miller sponsored the bill in his chamber of the assembly after Gov. Nathan Deal urged lawmakers to introduce and pass such legislation.

The bill goes back to the Senate for approval.

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