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Boating panel studies laws after deadly summer on Lake Lanier

BUFORD — The chairman of a newly formed group studying boating safety in Georgia says the state needs to compare itself with the rest of the nation before moving ahead with changing boating safety laws.

Gov. Nathan Deal has called on state lawmakers to lower the legal blood alcohol limit for boaters and hunters to 0.08 from 0.10.

"We need to make sure our licensure is on par with other states," said Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, who chairs the Lake Lanier Legislative Caucus.

It was reported that the caucus held its first meeting last month at a community center, drawing about 10 lawmakers from counties surrounding Lake Lanier and other state officials, as well as lake residents and advocates.

Boating safety has been discussed by various groups this year after several high-profile accidents -- including multiple deaths.

Unterman said the big issue on the lake when she became a senator a decade ago was the water level. Now, she said, the new issue is public safety.