Rules of the Waterways: Know Your Boating Laws

Summer is here, which means that people across the state are making time to get out on the water in their boat or personal watercraft. It’s important to know Georgia’s Boating Laws before heading out on the water. Here are some laws that are commonly broken that you should be aware of:

  • Boat operators must slow to idle speed when they are within 100 feet of docks, piers, bridges, shorelines, or people in the water. Many times, these are designated with “no wake zone” or “idle speed only” signs.
  • Never operate your boat faster than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions.
  • Boat operators should pass on the right side and stay as far right as possible when rounding bends and curves or overtaking/passing other boats.
  • Never overload your boat. Overloading is loading the boat beyond the recommended capacity shown on the capacity plate installed by the manufacturer.
  • All boats in Georgia are required to carry at least one Coast Guard approved, wearable life jacket on board for each passenger. Adults are not required to actually wear the life jackets, but children under 13 are required to wear them.
  • Passengers riding on the bow or gunwale is strictly prohibited.
  • Much like driving a car, you can receive a Boating Under the Influence citation if your BAC is above .08 if you are over 21 years old, or .02 if you are under 21.


It is important to know the rules of the waterways because not adhering to boating laws can be costly, as boat police never hesitate to issue citations. If you’ve been pulled over while boating in Georgia do not hesitate. Give us a call TODAY.