Boaters Charged with BUI During Holiday

Law enforcement agencies were out in full force, patrolling the waterways during the July 4 holiday weekend, and arrested numerous boaters for boating under the influence (BUI):
Paul Albert Howard, 40, Lakeland, FL, was arrested by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), about 11:08 pm, July 1, after the agency was contacted by U.S. Coast Guard, Yankeetown, in regard to an impaired boat driver in the waters near Yankeetown. Mr. Howard was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility, charged with misdemeanor BUI, first offense ($1,000 bond).
Maureen Frain Whittle, 50, Largo, FL, was arrested by the FWC, about 7:46 pm, July 1, after the agency was contacted by U.S. Coast Guard, Yankeetown, that a woman operating a vessel was possibly impaired. The report stated that Ms. Whittle exhibited signs of impairment and performed poorly on sobriety testing, but refused to take an alcohol breath test. She was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility, charged with misdemeanor BUI, first offense ($1,000 bond).
Christopher Ryan Bowen, 32, Spring Hill, FL, was arrested by the FWC, around 7:30 pm, July 2, as he was leaving the Salt River and entering the Crystal River. The report stated that Bowen was driving a jon boat, but as the officers approached, he switched positions with the female passenger, so that she was in the driver’s seat. The report stated that a three-quarters empty 1.75 L bottle of whiskey and several empty beer cans littered the boat, and Bowen admitted he’d been drinking all day. The report stated that Bowen showed signs of impairment and performed poorly on sobriety testing. He was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility, charged with BUI, first offense ($500 bond).
Stacey L. Richardson, 29, Crystal River, was arrested by the FWC, July 2, in the Homosassa River near the TradeWinds resort, after an officer noticed him operating a boat at excessive speed in the manatee slow speed zone. Richardson exhibited signs of impairment, the report stated, and performed poorly on sobriety testing. He was taken into custody and transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility, where his breath test revealed a blood alcohol content of 0.156 and 0.147. He was charged with BUI, first offense, with his bond set at $500.
Luke Kelly Whitehurst, 24, Inverness, was arrested by the FWC, about 10:30 pm, July 3, after an officer noticed he was operating a boat at night without using navigational lights in Lake Henderson, Inverness. Mr. Whitehurst did not stop when officers activated the vessel’s blue lights and went another 1,000 yards while the sirens were activated, the report stated. Whitehurst denied having noticed the lights and sirens. Whitehurst performed poorly on sobriety testing and was taken into custody, charged with misdemeanor BUI, first offense ($500 bond). Whitehurst was also issued 3 citations and 2 written warnings for other various infractions. A minor passenger in the boat was picked up by his father.
Jennifer Ann Ralph, 36, Inglis, was arrested at the Pasco County Jail, July 5, by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on a Citrus County warrant for BUI, first offense ($1,000 bond). Ms. Ralph was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility in Lecanto. According to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, Ms. Ralph had been arrested, June 23, charged with a misdemeanor driving under the influence (DUI) accident with property damage (no injury).

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