SACKETS HARBOR — A man was charged with boating while intoxicated after a Coast Guard response boat saw his boat operating erratically and tried to stop it on Saturday around 11 p.m.
The Coast Guard patrol from the Sackets Harbor station observed a high performance Fountain boat leaving Sackets Harbor at high speed in a no-wake zone, according to a Coast Guard press release. The boat was operating in a dangerous manner after sunset, the release said.
When the patrol boat used emergency blue lights to stop the vessel, it continued on without stopping, so the patrol boat turned on sirens and pursued it toward Pillar Point, according to the release. The chase continued, with the boat and the patrol nearly colliding.
The operator later was identified as William A. Koelmel II, 60, of Dexter. The Coast Guard team conducted a safety check on the vessel and said they determined him to be under the influence of alcohol due to the detected odor of alcohol and the observance of slurred speech, poor balance and uncooperative and belligerent behavior.
His vessel was towed back to Sackets Harbor.
His blood alcohol content registered 0.149 percent after a sobriety test and breath sample were taken, the Coast Guard said.
Boating while intoxicated is charged when the BAC is 0.08 percent or higher. He also was charged by the Coast Guard with failure to stop, negligent operations and expired visual distress signals operating after sunset.
Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies and Dexter police also assisted on the scene.