Unlawful And Dangerous Operation

Alcohol And Drugs

Just remember this simple rule: Dont drink and boat!

The Georgia Boat Safety Act prohibits anyone from boating under the influence (BUI) -- that is, operating any boat, sailboat, personal watercraft, water skis, sailboard or similar device while intoxicated.

It is also unlawful for the owner of a boat or PWC to allow anyone else to operate their boat or PWC while that person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Georgia boating law states:

  • It is illegal for those under the age of 21 years to operate a boat or PWC if their blood alcohol level is 0.02 or more
  • Those 21 years of age or older are considered to be under the influence, and may not operate a boat or PWC, if their blood alcohol level is 0.08 or more or if drugs are detected.

The Georgia Boat Safety Act sets these penalties:

  • Those arrested for boating under the influence may lose their privilege to operate a boat or PWC until they successfully complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program approved by the Department of Driver Services. They will also be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $1,000 and/or prison time up to one year
  • By operating a boat or PWC on Georgia waters, you have consented to be tested for alcohol or drugs if requested by a law enforcement official. If you refuse to be tested, you will lose your privilege to operate a boat or PWC for up to one year and your refusal may be offered into evidence against you at a trial
  • A person found operating a boat or PWC under the influence while a child under the age of 14 years is on board, is also guilty of the separate charge of endangering a child






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