Gov. Deal signs boating safety bill - CBS46 News

Gov. Deal signs boating safety bill

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Gov. Nathan Deal signs a comprehensive boating safety law Gov. Nathan Deal signs a comprehensive boating safety law

Gov. Nathan Deal has signed a comprehensive boating safety law after a deadly summer on the water in north Georgia.

The bill, signed Tuesday at an event at Lake Lanier, honors the memory of two brothers killed in a boating crash last summer as well as the stepson of R&B artist Usher who died in a personal watercraft accident.

"I'm just thankful for all the love and support and all the people who've taken care of us," said Tara Prince, whose two sons were killed when a boater accused of being drunk slammed into the family's pontoon last June. "It's been a really, really difficult time." 

The bill lowers the blood-alcohol limit for boaters to .08 to match the driving limit and calls for stringent safety and education requirements.

"This is momentous," said Tameka Raymond, the ex-wife of Usher. "This means a lot to me."

Raymond's son, Kyle, was killed when a jet skier hit the tube he was riding in last July. The jet skier was not intoxicated but is facing homicide charges.

In addition to lowering the blood alcohol limits, the law also requires:

  • Age requirements to operate boats
  • Life jackets for children 13 and under
  • Boater education courses.

Georgia had been one of eight states with a higher blood-alcohol limit for boating.

"Today I will sign Senate Bill 136 because I believe it wills save lives," Deal told the crowd.

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