ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The extended Independence Day holiday resulted in the arrest of 14 people on charges of operating a boat while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The largest number of arrests – 10 – occurred on the first holiday weekend, which coincided with Operation Dry Water, a nationwide campaign against impaired boating. The highest blood alcohol content registered was 0.22, nearly three times the legal limit.


For the holiday period from July 2-8, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police officers investigated 14 boating accidents that resulted in injury or property damage. They issued 634 citations and 724 written warnings.

As part of the continuing education campaign, 911 vessel safety checks were conducted. In addition, they interacted with 3,474 recreational anglers, 238 watermen, 1,192 crabbers and 6,719 visitors to public lands.

On July 1, Kelly Thomas Grapes, 51, of North East, was charged with operating while impaired and reckless and dangerous operation in the aftermath of a boat collision that damaged a dock and another vessel in the North East River. He failed field sobriety tests and refused to take an Intoximeter test. Grapes is scheduled to appear in Cecil County District Court Aug. 8.

Other people arrested during the extended holiday for impaired boating were: Christopher Michael Beekey, 20, of New Market, who also was charged with negligent operation on Deep Creek Lake June 30; Theodore T. Speedy, 55, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, June 30 on the Susquehanna River; Gabriel Thomas Pastirik, 24, of Annapolis, on June 30 on the Severn River; Daniel Louis Lagana, 48, of Mechanicsville, June 30 on the Patuxent River; Stanley Joseph Perkoski Jr., 48, Chestertown, on July 1 in Hawk Cove off Back River.

Also, Joseph Brian Ireland, 28, of Glen Burnie, on July 1 on the Magothy River; Robert Raymond Howerton Jr., 56, of Riverdale, on July 1 on the Patuxent River; Daniel George Hall, 53, of Mount Holly, New Jersey, on July 1 on the Sassafras River; Frank William Samuel Sr., 45, of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, on July 1 on Stoney Creek; Also, Aaron Lee Hofmeister, of Chincoteague, Virginia, on July 4 in Sinepuxent Bay; Everett Clayton Embrey III, 52, of Potomac, on July 4 in Solomons Harbor; William Kendall Mooney, 34, of Secretary, on July 7 in Isle of Wight Bay; William John Miller, 52, of Prince Frederick, on July 7 in Solomons Harbor.