Law enforcement watching Georgia waterways, roads during Memorial Day weekend

Law enforcement watching Georgia waterways, roads during Memorial Day weekend
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 11:59 AM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 12:49 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Georgia game wardens and state troopers are teaming up with their “Belts and Buoys Summer Safety Tour” to promote good practices ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

Last Memorial Day weekend, the state of Georgia saw nine waterway-related fatalities, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“These numbers represent tragic incidents, and they involve real people. These incidents leave family members and friends devastated and saddened,” said Colonel Thomas Bernard with the Department of Natural Resources.

There have already been 16 waterway fatalities in 2023. That’s why game wardens want to remind boaters about being safe on the water by using life jackets and floatation devices and following state laws.

“The 100-foot law mandates do not speed within 100 feet of a person, boat dock, swimming area, or any other object in the water, including the shoreline,” said Colonel Bernard.

Folks heading to the lake or the beach or to a barbecue also need to be safe.

“We want Georgians and those who travel through Georgia every day of the summer and every day of the year to be safe on the highways and the waterways.”

State troopers will be out in force this weekend, making sure the 1.2 million people expected to be driving in Georgia are being careful.

“Last year during the 78-hour Memorial Day holiday period, the Department of Public Safety issued over 10,000 citations, 9,600 warnings, and arrested 330 people for driving under the influence,” said Colonel Chris Wright with Georgia State Patrol.

Sobriety is being checked on the roadways and on the water. The blood-alcohol concentration, or BAC, limit in Georgia for car and boat drivers is .08.