Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

March 21, 2013

House OKs lower alcohol limits for boat operators

ATLANTA — Reacting to high-profile deaths on Lake Lanier, the Georgia House of Representatives has approved a proposal to lower the allowable blood-alcohol limits for hunters and anyone driving a water vessel in the state.

Senate Bill 136 would set the limit at .08 grams per 100 grams of blood (.08 percent), where it already stands for anyone operating a motor vehicle on Georgia roads. The sportsmen’s limit is currently .10 grams, where it has remained in the years since lawmakers adopted tougher DUI laws for motorists.

The bill cleared the House with little opposition. Because of changes in the lower chamber, the measure now must go back to the Senate for further consideration, but it is expected to pass easily and head to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature.

Deal highlighted the idea in his State of the State address in January. The governor said at the time that anyone who is too drunk to drive on the road is too drunk to drive on the water.

“Passing this bill will save lives in Georgia,” said House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey of Atlanta.

Various sections of the new law are named for Kile Glover of Atlanta and Griffin and Jake Prince of Buford, all victims who were killed in water accidents last year.

The 11-year-old Glover was killed while riding in a tube being pulled by a boat. The tube was struck by a water vessel being driven by Jeffrey Hubbard, a family friend who has since been indicted in the case by a Hall County grand jury on several charges related to the accident.

The Prince brothers — Griffin was 13; Jake was 9 — died after their family’s pontoon boat was struck by a boat being operated by Paul Bennett of Cumming. He faces a May trial date for homicide and boating under the influence.

Authorities at the Department of Natural Resources have long noted the discrepancy in alcohol limits. They’ve also noted that enforcement remains difficult on the water regardless of the limits, because there are no marked lanes, making it harder to have probable cause for pulling over a boat operator.

On Wednesday, the Senate extended a tax break exempting engines and equipment used in plane maintenance from the sales tax so long as those parts are installed on out-of-state aircraft. That tax break, due to expire on June 30, 2013, would be extended by two years. State budget officials estimated the tax break will cost Georgia more than $18 million in tax revenue.

 

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

    A state’s voters are free to outlaw the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a blow to affirmative action that also laid bare tensions among the justices about a continuing need for programs that address racial inequality in America.

    April 23, 2014

  • ‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in South Sudan slaughter

    Gunmen who targeted both children and the elderly left “piles and piles” of bodies — many of those in a mosque — in a provincial capital in South Sudan, the U.N.’s top humanitarian official in the country said Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Obama_Stew.jpg Obama views mudslide scene

    Swooping over a terrain of great sadness and death, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour Tuesday of the place where more than three dozen people perished in a mudslide last month, then mourned privately with those who lost loved ones in the destruction.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wall Street_Stew.jpg Earnings and corporate deals lift U.S. stocks

    Corporate deals and some solid earnings reports propelled the stock market to its sixth straight gain Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Economy College Gradu_Stew.jpg Job market for college grads better but still weak

    With college commencement ceremonies nearing, the government is offering a modest dose of good news for graduating seniors: The job market is brightening for new grads — a bit.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Court TV On t_Stew.jpg Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned

    Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in the use of the internet.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today in History

    In 1791, the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, was born in Franklin County, Pa.

    April 23, 2014

  • Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport’s tarmac and climbed into a jetliner’s wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation’s airline fleet.

    April 22, 2014

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Death count in ferry sinking tops 100

    One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from a South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP520422034 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, April 22, the 112th day of 2014. There are 253 days left in the year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results