Members of the Georgia House are expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would lower the legal blood alcohol limit for people behind the wheel of a boat or people hunting.
The bill is named for 11-year-old Kile Glover as well as 9-year-old Jake and 13-year-old Griffin Prince. All three were killed in boating accidents on Lake Lanier in 2012. Prosecutors have charged the boater behind the Prince accident with boating under the influence.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Butch Miller of Gainesville, called both of those accidents “tragic.”
“Their mothers and fathers won’t be able to share in their successes,” explained Senator Miller, who went on to say those families will have “a hole in their hearts forever.”
Miller stressed, however, that this legislation is not a knee-jerk reaction to the children’s deaths. The bill not only reduces the legal blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, but also requires boating safety courses for young people between the ages of 12 and 15 before they can legally operate a watercraft, unless they are accompanied by an adult.
“In my view, this is an opportunity for our state legislature to demonstrate that we’re using good judgment,” said Miller.
According to Miller, the legislation has been well-received by members of the boating community and those who live along Lake Lanier. It has also fared well in the General Assembly, passing unanimously in both the Senate Natural Resources and the Environment Committee and the Senate as a whole.
Miller said he expects the House to pass the bill overwhelmingly.