A Land O ‘Lakes man is facing criminal charges after deputies claim he was drunk during a Labor Day weekend boating accident that wound up killing his brother.
The 31-year-old man was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of BUI (boating under the influence) manslaughter.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office alleges the man was driving a boat shortly before midnight on Sept. 1 on the Cotee River accompanied by two passengers, a woman and his 29-year-old brother.
The woman told deputies that there was a crash and that she blacked out. Investigators later determined the 22-foot Boston Whaler smashed into channel marker 10A.
The woman told police that when she awoke, the accused was in the water attempting to pull his 29-year-old brother to safety. The man was brought to shore, but emergency personnel declared him dead. The Medical Examiner later concluded that he died from blunt trauma.
According to investigators, they conducted a blood draw on the accused shortly before 3 a.m. and that the results indicated his blood alcohol content was 0.093. In the state of Florida, intoxication is presumed at 0.08.
The accused was booked into the Pasco County Jail where he was released on $10,000 bond.
Driving a boat is a lot different that operating a car due to the fact that on the waterways, boats can approach from virtually any direction. Within the last five years, the number of registered boats in Florida has increased substantially. Due to this rise, there has been a surge of serious accidents on the waterways resulting in personal injuries and death. If someone was operating a boat in a careless or reckless fashion, or boating under the influence in New Port Richey, Port Richey, Dade City, Hudson, Holiday, Zephyrhills, Trinity, Land O’Lakes or Wesley Chapel, and this negligence resulted in serious injuries to you or the death of a loved one, you must enlist the help of a Pasco County Boating Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton right away. We can immediately begin protecting your rights so that you can collect maximum financial compensation for all expenses related to the accident.
Florida boat operators have a legal duty to exercise caution when on the water and maintain the safety of passengers, other boats and swimmers. Boating accidents can be caused by a variety of things, including:
- Use of Drugs or Alcohol
- Driver Inattention
- Negligent Operation of a Boat
- Operator Inexperience
- Underage Drivers
- Poor Weather Conditions
- Equipment Failure
- Flaws in the Boat Design
- Engine Defect or Malfunction
According to the American Boating Association, Boating Under the Influence is responsible for a whopping 31 percent of all fatal boating accidents. If you have been seriously injured or have lost someone close to you in a BUI accident, please call a Pasco County Boating Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton at 727-847-2299 to learn about your rights and determine liability. We know just how devastating these types of accidents can be and will work to resolve your case as quickly and effectively as possible.