Boating Tragedy Due to Lack of Alcohol Awareness

by: Mike Miller

With the hot weather and the summer season in high gear I can’t espouse enough the dangers of drinking while boating.  A perfect example is MaryJo Heitkamp.  This 26-year-old was killed in the prime of her life by a drunken boater.

Her parents are devastated by the loss of their only child. Heitkamp was riding in a speed boat when it flew out of the water, soaring over the shoreline, crashing through trees, before coming to a stop 150 feet away from the water! That’s half a football field.

The pilot, 24-year-old Keir Weimer admitted responsibility and pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter.  He was sentenced to 2 to 6 years in prison.

Not surprising, Weimer, though only 24, had two drunken driving conviction by the time of the boating accident.  A serious alcoholic that gets drunk enough to have three major DUI offenses in the first 8 years he has a license, Weimer should have been set straight much sooner.

New York is trying to change its laws so that the second DUI offense becomes a felony.  States have to enact tougher laws.  There is no doubt a second DUI should be a felony. If prison is a deterrent, perhaps it should be utilized sooner.