A state delegate who admitted to being under the influence of alcohol when he crashed his recreational boat in August this year, injuring seven people, has been charged today.

Delegate Donald H. Dwyer Jr., a Republican who oversees parts of Anne Arundel County, faces five charges, including reckless operation of a vessel, operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol, failing to comply with registration protocols for his boat, negligent operation of a vessel and a violation of boating rules in the area.

Dwyer’s blood alcohol level was found to be 0.24, more than three times above the legal limit for operating a vessel, at the time of the incident. He crashed his powerboat, the Legislator, into another vessel on the Magothy River in Pasadena on the 22nd of August, 2012, injuring himself and six others. Five of the injured were children.

Dwyer, 54, was charged by the Maryland Natural Resources Police on Thursday. If found guilty, Dwyer could face $2000 in fines and up to a year in jail.

The person who was operating the other boat involved in the collision, Mark ‘Randy’ Harbin, has also been charged. Although Harbin’s attorney issued a press release saying the charges against Harbin are ‘ridiculous’ as Dwyer was the party at fault, the natural resources police stated that both operators played a role in the incident, and Harbin did not adjust his speed or take action to avoid the collision. Harbin was not under the influence of alcohol, and has been charged with negligent operation of a vessel.

According to eyewitness reports and 911 calls, Dwyer’s boat was travelling at full speed when it collided with Harbin’s vessel, which had five children on board at the time.

Dwyer appeared in a press conference outside Shock Trauma hospital the day following the accident, wearing a neck brace and in a wheelchair, where he admitted that he had been under the influence of alcohol when the accident occurred. The state’s blood alcohol limit for the operation of a vessel is 0.08.

Those who were injured in the accident, including a five year old girl who sustained a skull fracture, are all said to be recovering and will not have permanent injuries.

It is not yet clear what action the State House will take in response to Dwyer’s charges, but it is thought that the Ethics Committee will review his conduct and take appropriate disciplinary action. Dwyer has not yet commented on the charges.


Fill out the form below for a Free Case Review with one of our Undefeated Maritime Lawyers

First Name



Describe Your Case

All communications are private and confidential. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.