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Defendant Charged with DWI in Boating Incident


Suffolk DWI 5

The plaintiffs in this case are the People of the State of New York. The defendant of the case is George P. Briggs. The case is being heard in the Nassau County District Court, First District, and Criminal Court.

The defendant was tried without a jury for an accusation of boating while intoxicated (DWI), which is in violation of Navigation Law section 49. There were numerous questions that were brought up during this case, which makes a written response necessary.

Case Facts

The information that has been provided to the court alleges that the defendant was boating while intoxicated on the 24th of September, 1989 at around 6:30 am. The incident took place in the waters located off of Centre Island located in the Town of Oyster Bay, which is in Nassau County.

On the day before the alleged incident took place at around 11 a.m., Captain Robert Arata was out in his commercial towing vessel in Northport Bay. He saw a Mainship that was 40 feet in length. The engines of the boat were running and the skipper of the boat made no request for help. Captain Arata went on his way.

Not long after, Chief Brooks from the Ashroken Police Departmetn responded to a call about a large ship that was aground on the Ashroken Beach. When Chief Brooks arrived at the location he saw a boat named Collen II beached. He went to the vessel and boarded it with permission. He saw the defendant with a drink in his hand and a counter nearby that held four or five liquor bottles. At least one of the bottles was empty. The defendant informed the chief that he was drinking vodka.

The Chief recommended that the defendant put down his anchor so the boat would not go further on shore. He radioed the marina to help. Within ten to fifteen minutes of boarding the ship Chief Brooks left. At around 3 p.m. he received another call for a tow, it was for the Colleen II. When he arrived the boat was aground and had floated over the bow anchor. The defendant was trying to untie the stern anchor. When the stern anchor was untied the defendant could not hold on to it and it was lost.

Captain Arata arrived to help and once he and his crew had finished he boarded the ship for payment. He states that while he was aboard the ship he saw the defendant fill a glass with vodka and orange juice and proceed to drink from it. The defendant then left the area with his engines running.

The next call from the Colleen II was just before 4 a.m. There was a flare coming from the ship. Officer Groblewski went aboard the ship and told the defendant that his anchor was not deployed. The officer states that there was a strong smell of alcohol on the ship. The defendant continued to randomly fire flares from the deck of the ship.

Case Discussion

When reviewing the facts of the case there is no proof that the defendant actually drove the boat while under the influence of alcohol. It is possible that his boat drifted from the first point where it was found to the second point located in Connecticut. For this reason, the court finds the defendant not guilty of the charges.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates offers free consultations to those in need of legal advice, whether you have been charged with a DWI, DWAI, or drug possession. Our offices are located throughout the city of New York for your convenience. You may call any of our offices to set up an appointment at any time.

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