Last September, in our blog we described Senator Bill Brown's (R-Broken Arrow) push for stricter boating DUI laws in the wake of a fatal Labor Day boating accident. Now, Aaron Lynn Jones, 24, of Oklahoma City, has been charged in McIntosh County District Court in connection with the Lake Eufaula accident that killed one man and injured six other boaters.
Jones is charged with first degree manslaughter and is accused of DUI in the boating accident that killed Greg Scherff, 38, also of Oklahoma City. According to witnesses, several friends were partying on a beach before leaving to watch a football game.
Scherff and six of the friends left in one boat, and Jones followed in a separate boat. Jones says that he was driving the boat at approximately 40 mph when he realized the boat Scherff was in had stopped. He said he tried to stop his own boat, but it was too late.
The boat Jones was driving hit the boat in which Scherff was a passenger from behind and slid over its side. Jones says that after the accident, he called over to the passengers on the boat he struck and was told that everyone was fine. He then left the scene. Investigating officers say that Jones was driving recklessly and that he is suspected of Oklahoma DUI.
Jones admits to having two beers at the beach before the accident, but witnesses say he had at least six beers on the beach and in the boat, as well as several shots of liquor. Oklahoma DUI law considers the legal limit for DUI to be a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 on land, but 0.10 on the water.
Many legislators, including Sen. Brown, and their constituents push for standardizing the DUI laws and strengthening boating DUI law. If Jones is convicted of first-degree manslaughter in McIntosh County, he could be sentenced to four years to life in prison. If you have been charged with DUI, contact an experienced DUI lawyer to explain your charges and explore options for your defense.
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