A New Hampshire man has been convicted on two counts of negligent homicide for a fatal boating accident that occurred on Northwood Lake in July 2012. The man was convicted by a jury on December 19 and is being held without bail. After deliberating for three hours, the Rockingham County jury came to an agreement that the 34-year-old man was intoxicated and negligently operating the boat when he killed his 28-year-old passenger.
Prosecutors claimed in the trial that the defendant had been drinking all morning on the day of the incident, and drank throughout the day while he was driving friends around on the lake in his boat. A county attorney also argued that the defendant’s actions were illegal from the start, considering he had no license to operate the boat and no boater training.
The defendant was allegedly illegally operating the 18-foot boat when he hit a wake, causing one of his male passengers to fall overboard where he was then struck by the boat’s drive and propeller. Defense lawyers claimed the prosecutors had no conclusive blood alcohol tests from the time of the accident as proof of negligence. The prosecutor presented to the jurors blood alcohol tests taken six hours after the accident that showed the defendant’s BAC level at .04 and .03. A state expert testified at the trial that the defendant would have been intoxicated at the time the victim fell from the boat.
The defendant faces seven and a half to 15 years in state prison on charges of negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated.
Have You Been Injured in a Drunken Boating Accident?
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Latti & Anderson’s Little Extra: According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a boat operator is likely to become impaired quicker than a driver when drinking.
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