Officers in full force looking for BUI violations

News 12 First at Five / Monday, May 27, 2013

APPLING, Ga. (WRDW) -- Boaters are out in full force for the holiday weekend, and so is law enforcement, looking for violators of the new BUI law.

"Make sure y'all keep a sober driver for us today," officers said as they approached a boat for a safety check.

"Absolutely. I'm a nurse. I don't like seeing anybody getting hurt," replied the driver of the boat.

What used to be a blood alcohol limit of .10 is now .08, and officers say a busy holiday weekend like this is when they see the most violations. But this year seems to be different.

"In years past it has, but we've got a lot more voluntary compliance in our area now. I noticed a lot more designated boat operators this weekend," Ranger First Class Bobby Timmerman said.

Tyler Lillo has his cooler packed ready to go out on the lake and have some fun. Even though the alcohol limit is lower, he says it's not going to ruin his fun.

"If you have a few drinks and you get a little too tipsy, just make sure you're not the one driving the boat. Make sure the one who is more responsible, more sober, is the one out on the water driving. So, I think you can still have a good time," Lillo said.

"It's not illegal to drink an alcoholic beverage while driving a boat, it's just not a good idea to mix the two," Timmerman explained.

Officers say between all the lakes in our area, they've only reported seven BUI violations this weekend and 27 statewide in Georgia.

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