Del. Dwyer charged in boat accident

Blood alcohol level reported to be .24

The state delegate who admitted to drinking before crashing his boat earlier this year has now been charged.

The MD Department of Natural Resources Police have determined that Delegate Don Dwyer's blood alcohol level was .24 -- three times the legal limit -- when he crashed his boat back in August.

Dwyer and six other people, including five children, were injured in that crash.  They are all said to be recovering, including a five-year-old girl whose skull was fractured in the crash on the Magothy River.

The day after it happened, Del. Dwyer, a Republican who represents portions of Anne Arundel County, held a news conference outside Shock Trauma.  He admitted he had been drinking.

Now DNR Police have charged him with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol, along with reckless operation and negligent operation.

Police also charged Mark "Randy" Harbin -- the driver of the other boat that crashed...

His attorney tells ABC-2 news, that's ridiculous.  "The accident wouldn't have happened if the Dwyer boat had not cut in front of the Harbin boat," said the attorney, H. Briggs Bedigian.

He says according to witnesses, the delegates' boat was going too fast, when it cut off Harbin's boat.  But a news release from the natural resources police reads in part:  "Both operators contributed to the accident when neither operator adjusted speed nor took the necessary action with ample time to avoid a collision."

Randy Harbin is charged with a rules of the road violation, and negligent operation.

His attorney says he plans to fight those charges.

"Sooner or later it's going to get adjudicated in a court of law and a judge is going to look at this and we're very confident that Mr. Harbin is going to be fully exonerated and that the Dwyer boat will be held at fault for this accident," Bedigian said.

Delegate Dwyer could receive is one year in jail, and a $1940 fine if he is convicted and receives the maximum penalty on all of his charges.  The delegate did not respond to a request for a comment.

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