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Lake Lanier Ranger: Boating Death Defendant Was 'Classic Example' of Impaired Person

Also, Bennett discussed his alcohol consumption in a video interview that was played during his Hall County trial.

Paul Bennett. (Credit: wsbtv.com.)
Paul Bennett. (Credit: wsbtv.com.)
Paul Bennett was "a classic example of an impaired person" shortly after a 2012 Lake Lanier boating accident that killed two Gwinnett County boys, according to court testimony Wednesday (Nov. 6).

According to the Gainesville Times, a Department of Natural Resources ranger said Bennett, of Cumming, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 shortly after he was involved in a boating accident that killed Griffin Prince, 13, and Jake Prince, 9, of Buford.

"It’s a poster child (of an impaired person),” Ranger Mark Stephens said of Bennett. “The highs are high and the lows are low. They’re happy one minute and they’re crying the next, and he exhibited that.” Stephens was the first law enforcement officer to respond to the June 2012 accident, according to the Times.

According to authorities, Bennett was piloting a boat that crashed into a pontoon boat that was piloted by the Prince boys' father.

In a video interview with the ranger that was played in Hall County court Wednesday, Bennett said he had a “couple of swigs” of alcohol after the accident. Bennett said that before the accident that he had a tall vodka tonic, which he did not finish, and a couple of glasses of wine with dinner.

Bennett said in the video that he did not operate his boat on the lake while he was impaired.

Bennett is on trial on charges that include homicide by vessel and failure to render aid.

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