IMPAIRED BOATER Joel Weaver fled from the Natural Resources Police patrol boat to Meadow Island in Potomac River to avoid arrest for Operating While Impaired; Frederick Prosecutor Charlie Smith let him off with no jail time and a $100 fine
POTOMAC RIVER – The Natural Resources Police report that a Boonsboro man faced multiple charges, including operating a boat while impaired, after fleeing an NRP boat patrol on June 18, 2021.
Officers patrolling the Potomac River in Frederick County spotted a vessel traveling without its required navigational lights. When police instructed the operator, Joel Adam Weaver, 38 (DOB 6/14/1983) of 8267 Old National Pike, Boonsboro, Maryland, to dock his boat, police report that he replied that he had too much to drink and then fled.
After a brief pursuit, officers observed Weaver on Meadow Island, where he attempted to board his boat and run again.
Police say they detected an odor of alcohol on Weaver, his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and his speech was slurred. After Weaver refused to take the field sobriety test, police placed him under arrest for operating while under the influence of alcohol.
NRP officers reported at the time that additional charges were reckless operation, negligent operation, and failure to display navigation lights. He faced up to $3,270 in fines and a year and four months in jail. Charges were filed by NRP Officer Nathaniel Minnick on August 6, 2021, according to court records.
Frederick County States Attorney Charlie Smith approved a plea deal for Weaver, who, on September 23, 2021, entered a guilty plea to Operation While Impaired by Alcohol in Frederick County District Court. District Court Judge Dino E. Flores Jr presided over the case and failed to object to the plea deal of a verdict of Probation Before Judgement on November 30, 2021, that resulted in no time, a fine reduced to $100, and twelve months of unsupervised probation. What that means is that Weaver doesn’t have to take a probation officer with him when he goes out for drunk boating trips on the Potomac River. Court records show that the deferred fine is unpaid.
Charlie Smith has been Frederick County States Attorney since 2007.