While many believe that getting arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is something that pertains only to car operation, boating under the influence, or BUI, is a very real and very serious crime. Recently, an Orlando boat dealer was sentenced to six years in prison after operating a boat under the influence of alcohol, which led to someone’s death.
Mark David Watts, 51, the owner of Liquid Sports Marine, was sentenced for his role in the July 30, 2006 accident that resulted in the death of 20-year-old Shelby Harper, as well as several injuries to other victims.
Watts was operating his speed boat while under the influence of alcohol on Lake Irma in east Orange County at around 4:30 a.m. when the accident occurred. Watts met Harper and some of her friends at the nightclub Roxy’s and Watts invited them to his and his wife’s home after the club closed.
Some of the people who went back to Watt’s home refused to get in the boat after seeing him fall in the water because of his intoxication level, but Harper and some of her friends still got on. When Watts finally started the boat, he sped off without turning on his lights and crashed into a dock. Some of the passengers were injured while Harper suffered a broken neck. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she died of her injuries.
Watts admitted to having eight alcoholic drinks before operating his boat that night. He got six years in prison but there are times in which motorists accused of being intoxicated are unfairly charged. If you have been arrested for BUI or […]