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Violation carries big price tag for Maine boater

The Coast Guard issued a notice of violation May 19 to a Maine boater, assessing a $15,000 civil penalty against him for his actions Aug. 31, 2003, during the Winter Harbor, Maine, Lobster Boat Races.

Allan Walls, 44, of Bar Harbor, Maine, is charged with boating while intoxicated and negligent operations, aggravated by an assault on a Coast Guard boarding officer. In the letter, a Coast Guard hearing officer informed Walls that he will have 30 days to request an examination of the Coast Guard’s case file and to request a hearing.

According to the Coast Guard, a boarding team from Station Southwest Harbor attempted to conduct a routine safety inspection of Walls’ 22-foot pleasure boat. Walls reportedly fled at a high rate of speed, and the Coast Guard boarding team pursued Walls in their 41-foot rescue boat. The Coast Guard later found Walls’ vessel tied alongside several other fishing vessels observing the race.

After an extensive search of all the vessels, the Coast Guard boarding team discovered Walls hiding in the forepeak of the fishing vessel Day Dreamer. Walls reportedly attempted to run, swung his closed fist and grabbed at the Coast Guard boarding team member. The boarding team member and the boarding officer used physical means to subdue Walls, who allegedly resisted efforts to be restrained and directed several verbal threats of physical violence and abuse toward the Coast Guard boarding team. Walls was eventually subdued and placed in handcuffs. A subsequent alcohol test revealed Walls’ blood alcohol content to be .173, according to the Coast Guard.

“The Coast Guard will not tolerate this type of behavior,” said Capt. Hank Hayes, commanding officer of Group Southwest Harbor, Maine. “It’s against the law to operate a boat while intoxicated and it is completely unacceptable to run away from and assault a federal law enforcement officer.”

The maximum allowable fine under Subpart 1.07 of Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations for these actions is $20,500.