Don H. Dwyer, Jr., a Tea Party delegate from Maryland, who’s best known for his anti-choice, anti-gay rhetoric and legislation and “pro-family, pro-child” views, has admitted to being drunk while crashing his boat into a smaller boat filled with children. Four of the five children were sent to the hospital, one in a helicopter. At 0.2%, his blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.
Dwyer and another man had reportedly been drinking on his boat in the Magothy River, when his boat crashed into the smaller boat, causing Dwyer’s boat to sink. The two adults on the smaller boat were not injured but Dwyer and another adult were. None of the injuries are life threatening.
In a Press Conference recorded by the Baltimore Sun, Dwyer appeared in a neck brace, a cast and a wheelchair. He read a prepared statement saying:
“I deeply regret my actions and ask for your forgiveness,” Dwyer said, adding that no one should operate a car or boat while under the influence of alcohol. He said his thoughts are with the others injured in the collision.
Here’s the video:
Neighbors have been quoted as saying that the crash was so loud it sounded like a bomb and that the entire front of Dwyer’s boat was gone. Photos available here.
Charges have not yet been filed, but the Maryland House’s GOP leaders are waiting until the investigation is complete before taking any steps.
Randy Harbin, the operator of the boat that was hit and the grandfather of the children is outraged that charges have not been filed.
“I knew from the moment that the boat veered into my path of travel that this person must be drunk,” he said. “I just don’t understand why Mr. Dwyer isn’t being charged. I had blood under my fingernails from where I was holding the wheel.”
Dwyer is one of the most conservative members of the delegation and is adamantly anti-marriage equality. During Maryland’s gay marriage debate, he was quoted as saying, “Homosexuality will be taught at some level to children attending public schools as has been ordered by the court in various states,” and that lawmakers were about to ignore God’s law:
“We all took an oath on opening day of this session, yet there are many here who do not understand that an oath is an appeal to God by him who makes it. That what he has said or shall say is the truth. It is the most solemn form under which one can assert or pronounce anything. To utter a falsehood while under oath is perjury, a crime of the darkest hue, one which God himself has declared that he will punish, and one which has made infamous and punishable by fine and imprisonment by the laws of the land.”
Dwyer has previously attempted to ban same-sex marriage in Maryland by attaching an amendment to a bill on marriage license fees and sought the sacking or impeachment of public officials who have made decisions that were supportive of same-sex couples having the right to marry.
Earlier this year Dwyer supported a ballot measure to strip lawmakers of their office when found guilty of serious crimes which Maryland voters will decide on in November.
If Dwyer is found to have committed an offense and the ballot initiative is successful he may find himself out of office under the law.