On behalf of Wade Grimes Friedman Meinken & Leischner PLLC

With the beautiful weather and relaxing summer months, so also comes enjoying fun recreation in Virginia waters. What many people fail to remember, however, is that enjoying alcohol while onboard is fine, unless you are the one driving. DUI charges apply to boating just the same as driving a car. On the water, the risk of accidents is high when folks are drunk, and the penalties for felony boating under the influence can be severe.

In another state, a man is facing an uncertain future because he was found to be responsible for a boat crash that killed his friend. Authorities report he is charged with two felony counts of boating drunk, as well as citations for not displaying night lighting. In May 2010, a man was allegedly killed when the boat in which he was riding collided with another one. He and another man were passengers on the vessel operated by the defendant. They had been heading to an island in the lake to camp out.

The victim’s family filed a lawsuit; however, according to court records, they have accepted a settlement from the insurance company of the accused to avoid the expense of a trial. According to reports, the settlement could be the first step in resolving the criminal charges the man faces.

Defense against criminal charges, including those relating to driving while intoxicated, requires an aggressive, skilled approach. Effective strategies with prosecutors, opposing counsel, judges and juries can potentially reduce the serious consequences to reputation, job security and family finances. In addition, reaching a civil settlement does not equal a criminal admission of guilt.

Source: The State, “Exclusive: Family of man killed in Lake Murray boat crash gets settlement” Tim Flach, May. 11, 2014