There may be no better time than Memorial Day weekend to hook up a boat, drive down to the lake, and hit the water. At Lake Lanier, however, this weekend of fun came with impaired boaters and at least one boating accident.
Mark McKinnon, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, told Forsyth County News that the DNR made ten boating under the influence arrests on Lake Lanier between Saturday morning and Monday night. The DNR reports that the Gainesville area, which includes Lake Lanier, had the most BUI citations in the state over the holiday weekend, per WDUN.
Boating under the influence is as serious a crime as driving under the influence. Anyone convicted of a BUI in Georgia can have his or her boating license suspended and face fines up to $1,000 and up to one year in prison, according to the Georgia DNR.
There was also one boating accident over the weekend. The accident resulted in one injury and is said to have involved alcohol. It is unknown at this time how many boats were involved in that accident.
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This year’s Memorial Day weekend saw fewer BUI’s and accidents than last year, when eleven BUI’s and six accidents were recorded.
Nationwide, Memorial Day weekend typically sees an explosion in the number of boating accidents that occur. USA Today reports that the number of recorded boating accidents triples between Saturday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend.
Over the weekend, the Lake Lanier accident was one of only two statewide that resulted in injuries. No fatalities were recorded at any lakes in Georgia.