After several heartbreaking boating accidents at Lake Lanier last summer, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law the
"Jake and Griffin BUI Law" which takes effect today. The law is named for brothers Jake and Griffin Prince who were killed by an alleged drunken boater on Lake Lanier in June of 2012. Jake was nine and Griffin was 13 when a boat slammed into the Princes' pontoon boat about 10:30 p.m..
The boater, Paul J. Bennett of John's Creek, Georgia, was indicted by a Hall County grand jury of eight counts of homicide by vessel in the first degree,
boating under the influence, and other related charges. Bennett's criminal trial is scheduled for May 20.
The new BUI law lowers the legal limit for blood alcohol content from .10 to .08 and stiffens penalities for boating under the influence. It applies to boats and personal watercraft such as jet skis. The law also will apply to hunters.
Another new boating law taking effect today is the Kile Glover Boat Education Law. Eleven year old Kile Glover was the stepson of R&B singer Usher. In July of 2012, Glover, who was intertubing, was run over and fatally injuried by a family friend on a jet ski. A 15 year old friend who was tubing with Kile was seriously injured and disfigured by the accident. The family friend driving the jet ski in the accident was charged with homicide by vessel, reckless operation of a vessel, and other related charges. The new law requires anyone 13 or under to wear a life vest in a moving boat. A portion of the law taking effect next year will mandate boater education classes for those born on or after January 1, 1998.