Posted: Friday, April 26th 2013 at 6:36pm
New boating laws will go into effect as early as May 15.
By Alyson Shields Administrator
GAIENSVILLE- New boating laws approved by the Georgia General Assembly earlier this year will go into effect as early as May 15, but some parts are delayed until next summer.
On April 23, Govenor Deal signed a bill for stricter safety laws on local lakes after three children were killed in boating incidents last year.
The legal blood alcohol level was lowered from .10 to .08 and is now the same legal limit for both driving and hunting. This change goes into effect on May 15.
Future boaters will now need to take a boater's education course, but have plenty of time to complete the requirements, as this part of the legislation goes into effect July 1, 2014.
"Right now kids that are 12 to 16 have the option to take a boat education course if they want to operate a vessel on their own, but when the new law goes into effect they'll be mandated that if they're born after the January 1, 1998 date, they're going to have to take the boat education course," said Captian Mike England from the Department of Natural Resources.
England said the reason for the delay was to "get the word out about boating education."
"As time goes on, everybody who operates a vessel will have to have some kind of boater education course before they can operate a vessel."
The new laws also include new rules regarding life vests. Originally, those under 13 were encouraged to wear life vest while those under 10 were required. Now, all children under 13 are required to wear life vests .
England also said that there will be no trouble enforcing the new laws and the Rangers are already taking action
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