Hooch on the Hooch?

Sea dogs rejoice! I am well aware that it is hotter than the Devil’s armpit out there, but I have the BEST news! Drum roll please…it is now legal to shoot The Hooch, or your favorite lake or pond (shout out to all my country folks) while enjoying your favorite adult beverage!! This gem has been in the works for a while, but HB 172 (finally!) became law on July 1, 2016.

Here’s what you need to know: it is now legal to consume alcoholic beverages while floating on the water so long as your raft does not have a motor and you stay within 100 feet of the shore of non-flowing bodies of water. This is FABulous news for anyone who enjoys the water half as much as yours truly.  I am lucky enough to live a stone’s throw from the Chattahoochee River…you know that amazing place that Alan Jackson is so fond of? Locally, The Hooch runs through Buckhead, East Cobb, Dunwoody, Johns Creek, Roswell, Sandy Springs, and many more sweet southern towns. That means I expect to see all of y’all out partaking in this manna that the State Capital (again, finally) has provided us.

I’ll go ahead and do you a solid and give you a few helpful hints about the Hooch. First, no matter if it’s hotter than a hoochie coochie outside, the Chattahoochee is fah-reezing! Don’t believe me? Click here. Don’t get me wrong, it can certainly be refreshing, but you better get in and out quick before your lips turn blue! Second, bring your drink of choice in just about anything except for glass and don’t forget to bring a small bag for your garbage. No litterbugs allowed. Help us keep our river a clean, safe environment for humans and critters alike! Third, if you bring your own rafts, make sure you have enough life preservers for everyone on your trip. Or, you can take the easy route and rent tubes from a local company (shout out to my favorite, Shoot the Hooch,) and they will provide everything you need for your excellent adventure. *Click here for other rental spots in Dahlonega, Ellijay, Helen, and McCaysville.

Now, not to be a drag, but, Miss Melanie needs to remind you of one more itty-bitty detail. While, theoretically, you can drink as much as your little heart desires on your raft, you cannot hop in your vehicle afterward if you are impaired. Do not let a DUI ruin your day of fun in the sun. Plan ahead! Have a DD, or plan to call a cab, Uber, or SafeRide. (steps off soapbox.)

Now that you know how to beat the heat, get out there, have fun and stay safe! If you see me out there say “Hey!” and grab yourself a spiffy ME Law koozie, perfect for all your beverage needs!

Melanie Ellwanger is a North Georgia DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney. She is a former prosecuting attorney and judicial candidate. She has been ranked as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine 2013-2016. melanie@hiremelaw.com

DISCLAIMER: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.