While the following story doesn’t have to do with the laws of Rhode Island, it still brings up a very interesting conversation about boating under the influence — and, mainly, how it seems that any water-related activity is under attack of DUI and BUI laws.

We go to Georgia for this story, which passed a set of harsh BUI laws in 2013 in the wake of numerous fatal boating accidents. Part of the laws made it illegal for people to “float” or “tube” on the water while under the influence. This included rafts, inflatable objects and other homemade structures. If this sounds rather harsh, that’s because it is — and lawmakers seem to have realized their mistake.

The Georgia House of Representatives approved a bill that would rescind these “floating under the influence” rules from the BUI laws passed in 2013. Whether the Senate clears these changes is yet to be seen, but this raises a couple of interesting points about boating under the influence in general.

The first is that no one should go out on the water if you are legally intoxicated. Even if you aren’t using watercraft of an inflatable object, you will be less able to react to dangerous situations out on the water when you are legally intoxicated.

But the other lesson here is that BUI situations are being severely punished, and this is obviously an area that is receiving a lot of attention. Just last month we talked about lawmakers in Florida seeking to make BUIs part of your driving record. Now we hear about these laws in Georgia. BUIs are very serious, and anyone accused of one needs to consider the legal ramifications of the charge.

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, “‘Tubing under the influence’ OK’d by state House,” Aaron Gould Sheinin, Feb. 17, 2015