Maryland State Del. Don H. Dwyer Jr. admitted late Thursday afternoon that he had been drinking before a boating accident that injured seven people -- including the delegate himself -- on the Magothy River in Anne Arundel County.
Dwyer, 54, told reporters outside the University of Maryland Medical Center Thursday that he had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.20 -- more than twice the legal driving limit -- during the Wednesday night incident.
Capt. Jerry Kirkwood of the Maryland National Resources Police said his agency is investigating the incident and has not yet tested a blood sample taken from Dwyer, R-Anne Arundel, the night of the crash.
"Just because someone has been drinking doesn't necessarily mean they were the cause of the accident," Kirkwood said, adding that the agency does not currently have plans to charge Dwyer with operating the boat under the influence because "we don't have any evidence that said he has violated any laws."
Dwyer, for his part, told reporters that he regrets his actions and stressed that "no one should be driving a boat while drinking."
"My heart and prayers go out to the family that was involved in the accident, and I pray that everyone recovers quickly," he said. A legislative aide for Dwyer did not return several calls for comment by press time Thursday night.
The collision occurred about 7 p.m. Wednesday near Pasadena between two boats traveling in opposite directions, Kirkwood said. One boat held Dwyer and John Edward Moran IV. The other held Mark Harbin and another adult, plus five children.
As the boats approached each other, one tried to veer out of the way, but was unable to avoid hitting the other boat, police said.
Four children and three adults were taken to hospitals. Lt. Keith Hamilton of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department said that six of the patients transported had serious injuries.
Thursday night, Kirkwood said everyone involved in the incident "seemed to be doing well." A 12-year-old boy had already been released from the hospital, and a 5-year-old girl was awaiting clearance to leave the hospital, Kirkwood said. Another 7-year-old boy, suffering from a broken arm, remained in the hospital but had a good prognosis, Kirkwood said.
Dwyer showed up at the news conference in a wheelchair and wearing a foot cast and a neck brace.
State delegates on Thursday said they were concerned about the incident and thinking of those involved. "I am just shocked and deeply saddened for everybody involved in this. I've been praying today for everyone, including Don," said Del. Sam Arora, D-Montgomery, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee with Dwyer.
Examiner Staff Writer Ben Giles contributed to this report.