The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Man Charged with BUI for Fatal Boating Accident on Lake Lanier

On Tuesday, police arrested a man who allegedly caused a boating accident that left two boys dead, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Paul J. Bennett was charged with boating under the influence. A 9-year-old boy was killed when Bennett’s fishing boat reportedly collided with a pontoon boat on Lake Lanier. The boy’s 13-year-old brother hasn’t been seen since the accident.

According to authorities, four families were on the pontoon boat when Bennett’s fishing boat struck it at around 10:30 p.m. on Monday. All 13 people on board the pontoon were thrown into the water and had to be pulled to shore by firefighters, authorities say. A physician who was fishing nearby helped treat those injured in the crash.

A 9-year-old boy who was aboard the pontoon boat was killed in the crash. His 13-year-old brother hasn’t been seen since the wreck. Divers are currently searching the lake for the boy. According to authorities, five people who were on the pontoon boat were treated at Northeast Georgia Medical Center and have been released.

Bennett reportedly fled the scene in his 21-foot Sea Fox fishing boat. On Tuesday morning, police located the boat at Bald Ridge Marina in Cumming. Bennett has been charged with boating under the influence and may face homicide by vessel charges as well.

Under the Georgia Boat Safety Act, it’s illegal for anyone 21 years or older to operate a boat with a blood alcohol concentration of .10 percent or higher. If you’re under 21, it’s illegal for you to operate a boat with a BAC of .02 percent or higher. A BUI conviction is punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to a year in prison.

Police haven’t released the names of the brothers killed in the accident. Paul J. Bennett has been booked into Hall County Jail.

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