Man Arrested For Boating Under The Influence After NC Teens Killed

Posted on Aug 23, 2011
A man has been arrested and charged with boating under the influence after a July 3 boating accident took the lives of two teens from Kernersville, North Carolina.

According to local news sources, 39-year-old Brian Packer pleaded not guilty to the drunk boating charge in court this week, with his lawyer stating that there was witness evidence that his client was not boating under the influence.

The accident happened on the day before Independence Day, when Packer was driving a pontoon boat and the two teens, stepbrothers Joshua B. Rowley and Matthew McAlexander, where riding on a tube. Packer collided with the tube and was later found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.089 – above the legal limit. The two boys were visiting the area for a family reunion.

Rowley was a middle school student in Kernersville, while McAlexander was a volunteer firefighter enrolled at Forsyth Technical Community College.

Packer, who is currently out on bail, could face up to six months in jail for the offense as well as heavy fines.

Drinking while boating is a serious issue – and safety advocates believe that up to 30 percent of boating accidents involve alcohol. Drinking while operating a boat is especially common over summer holidays such as the Forth of July, when many are celebrating and waterways are crowded with vessels.

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