The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Seven Charged with BUI in Lake Lanier Crackdown

Seven people were arrested this weekend for boating under the influence on Lake Lanier, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

In the wake of a fatal boating accident that took place on the lake last week, law enforcement officers stepped up their efforts to crack down on drunk boating on Saturday and Sunday.

Last Monday, 9-year-old Jake Prince and his 13-year-old brother, Griffin Prince, were killed when Paul J. Bennett allegedly crashed his 21-foot fishing boat into the Prince's pontoon boat. Bennett was charged with BUI for the incident and may face homicide charges.

According to law enforcement officials, the crackdown had been planned prior to last week's boating tragedy. The weekend sweep was part of Operation Dry Water, a program aimed at drunk boaters.

Officers made five BUI arrests on Saturday evening and two on Sunday, authorities say. That's over twice as many BUI arrests as the officers usually make on a weekend.

"We are aggressively enforcing it this weekend," Sgt. Mike Burgamy said. "I have a little extra manpower, so that helps."

The summer months usually see an increase in the number of BUI incidents. Under Georgia's Boat Safety Act, it's illegal to operate a boat with a blood alcohol concentration of .10 percent or higher. A BUI conviction is punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to a year in prison.

Divers are still searching Lake Lanier for Griffin Prince. On Monday, the FBI will aid the search effort by bringing additional equipment that will allow the divers to stay under the water for more than six minutes at a time.

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