Police in Indian Harbour, Florida, have arrested a man whom they claimed rammed his boat into a local dock. The 36-year-old man was accused of drinking and boating, causing the accident that resulted in his 19-foot-boat going through a group of mango trees and entering a home's backyard.
The man fell out of the boat when it hit the dock. His 4-year-old daughter remained on board until the boat came to rest. Neither he nor his daughter suffered injuries in the accident, according to police reports. He told authorities that he dove into the water to try to repair the boat's propeller, which had become entangled with a lobster trap.
Police said that the arrestee has three prior convictions for DUI involving a car, and is currently on felony probation for the last incident. The owner of the home whose backyard the boat entered stated that the boat looked like it was out of control, but that it stopped moving when it reached a distance of about 3 feet from her house.
A police officer summoned to the scene claimed that the boat owner had red and glassy eyes and slurred speech and that there was an alcohol odor on his breath. He declined to take a breath test, and was reported to have failed field sobriety tests. He was ordered held in a county jail without bail.
Florida law allows convictions for boating under the influence to be counted against a motorist's driving record, provided that they have previous DUI convictions involving the use of a car. The law's standard for intoxicated boating is currently the same as it is for driving under the influence. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above is considered legally intoxicated.
Source: Florida Today, "Satellite Beach man crashes boat with daughter aboard into backyard," Andrew Ford, Dec. 5, 2012
· Our law firm provides legal defense for people accused of drinking and boating and other DUI crimes. For more information, please visit our Florida DUI defense page.