The Handbook of Georgia Boating Laws and Responsibilities
The Official Boating Handbook of the Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division - Web Version
Table of Contents
The Georgia Boat Safety Act prohibits anyone from boating under the influence (BUI)—that is, operating any boat, sailboat, PWC, water skis, sailboard, or similar device while intoxicated.
It also is unlawful for the owner of a boat or PWC to allow anyone else to operate their boat or PWC while that person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Georgia boating law states the following.
- It is illegal for those under the age of 21 years to operate a boat or PWC if their blood alcohol level is 0.02% or more.
- Those 21 years of age or older are considered to be under the influence, and may not operate a boat or PWC, if their blood alcohol level is 0.08% or more or if drugs are detected.
The Georgia Boat Safety Act sets these penalties.
- Those arrested for BUI may lose their privilege to operate a boat or PWC until they successfully complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services. They also will be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and/or prison time for up to one year.
- A person found operating a boat or PWC under the influence while a child under the age of 14 years is on board also is guilty of the separate charge of endangering a child.
By operating a boat or PWC on Georgia waters, you have consented to be tested for alcohol or drugs if requested by a law enforcement official. If you refuse to be tested, you will lose your privilege to operate a boat or PWC for up to one year and your refusal may be offered into evidence against you at a trial.