Heading to Georgia Lakes on July 4th?  There’s a new law you need to know – WSB-TV Channel 2

HALL COUNTY, Georgia – This weekend, the area’s lakes and rivers will be packed with boaters, tubers and swimmers looking to cool off in triple-digit temperatures.

Channel 2’s Steve Gehlbach drove along with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources at Lake Lanier on Thursday in preparation for the bank holiday weekend.

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“This is the busiest lake in the state and possibly east of the Mississippi … and game wardens like this will be on patrol in large numbers this weekend … all hands on deck off the fourth lake,” Maj. Stephen Adams said.

Beginning July 1st, DNR game wardens will be enforcing a new 200ft law for all wakeboarders and wakesurfers. That’s roughly two-thirds the length of a football field, where any boat that can create a wake and be surfable has to stay away from virtually everything else on the shore.

This applies to all state waters, including Lake Lanier, for safety reasons.

“So that the wake does not knock anyone over on a jetty or on the shore. The second is property… Increased wave heights will lead to erosion and damage to port infrastructure as well as shorelines,” Adams said.


The long-held 100-foot rule still applies to all other boats and watercraft moving on the water. The other big thing officials will be looking for over the next few days is drink driving.

Last year, 80 people died on Georgia’s waterways from either boating accidents or drowning. There were 28 deaths that year. Officials want to prevent that number from rising during the holidays.

“Watch your alcohol consumption and stay sober when driving or operating a boat. We want to see a designated operator and we will be there in large numbers and there will be no drunk boating warnings,” Adams said.

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