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Man Charged with Boating Under the Influence After Chattahoochee River Boating Accident

An Alabama man was charged with operating a boat under the influence of alcohol in connection with an injury accident, television station WALB reported July 13. Samuel Kyle was pulling his 10-year-old daughter and two 11-year-olds behind the boat on a water tube in the Chattahoochee River, in Early County. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said Kyle was under the influence of alcohol when he made a tight turn that sent the girls flying off the tube and into some rocks. All three were hospitalized and required surgery.

Most people know that it is illegal to drive their cars under the influence of alcohol, even if some of them choose to do it anyway. But not every Georgian realizes that it is also a crime to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol. In fact, you can be charged with drunk boating if you are found with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher (for adults), just as if you had been driving. And the evidence shows that boating while intoxicated can be just as dangerous as driving. According to statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol use was the top most common contributor to recreational boating deaths in 2007, and the fifth most common contributor to all accidents.

As a Georgia drunk driving accident lawyer, I frequently use DUI arrests or convictions as evidence of fault in my clients’ lawsuits. In an Atlanta boating accident lawsuit, a BUI conviction can be powerful evidence showing that law enforcement believes the person cited was not boating in a safe and responsible manner. This is important, because accident victims must prove the person they are suing is responsible for their accident, and thus their injuries, before they can claim any compensation for those injuries. And those injuries can be quite serious, including broken bones, head injuries and even wrongful death from accidental drowning.


The Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle represents people who sustained serious injuries or lost a loved one in a Georgia boating accident caused by someone else’s carelessness. That includes carelessness around alcohol as well as simple bad decisions or inexperience at the helm of a boat. A Georgia boating accident lawsuit cannot reverse an accident, but it can help victims defray some of the enormous costs of that accident, including high medical bills, lost income from being out of work and other financial costs they never would have incurred otherwise. It can also compensate them for the devastating loss of a loved one, a permanent disability or other serious injuries.

If you were seriously hurt on Georgia’s waterways and you believe it was someone else’s fault, our Gwinnett County, Georgia boating accident lawyers would like to help. To learn more at a free consultation, please contact our law firm online, send an email or call toll-free at 1-866-972-5287.

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