NEW YORK – A fatal speedboat accident in New York has lead a judge to implement a vehicular homicide charge, marking the first time the statute is used in connection to a boating accident.
The boater, Brian Andreski, pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide after being involved in the boating under the influence (BUI) accident. Prosecutors say he had been operating his 25-foot vessel while under the influence of on the morning of June 23 when he crashed into a fishing vessel, subsequently killing fisherman Christopher Mannino.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, who was presiding over the case, implemented the state’s aggravated vehicular homicide law, which is intended for drivers whose blood alcohol level (BAC) is at least 0.18 percent at the time of a crash, if their license is suspended or revoked, or when more than one person is seriously injured or killed.
Spota says that while applying the law to a boating accident is a “novel” tactic, the severity of the crimes warranted drastic measures to be taken.
Andreski’s BAC level was 0.18 percent after the crash, over twice the legal limit in the state of .08 percent. He now faces up to 32 years in prison for multiple charges, including vehicular manslaughter, reckless operation of a vessel and misdemeanor DUI.
Senator Charles Fuschillo responded to the DUI accident, saying he plans to introduce a legislation that would increase penalties for boaters who operate watercrafts while under the influence. The law would lead boater’s whose blood alcohol level is .18 percent or higher to be charged with a new crime, aggravated BUI, which would mean watercraft operators will need to solicit the help […]