DC
06/29/2013 06:37 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2013

Don Dwyer, Maryland GOP Delegate, Cited For Illegal Crabbing After Drunken Boating Conviction

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Del. Don Dwyer has once again found trouble in Sillery Bay.

The Pasadena Republican was cited this week by Natural Resources Police for violating a state ban on most crabbing Wednesdays.

Sgt. Brian Albert, police spokesman said Dwyer was crabbing in Sillery Bay, the same area where he and another boater collided last summer. Dwyer was convicted of drunken boating last month in connection with the accident and sentenced to 30 days in jail.

He has appealed the decision.

David Fischer, Dwyer's attorney in the drunken boating case, was unaware of the delegate's citation. But he said it would not affect the appeal.

Dwyer was unavailable for comment.

According to Department of Natural Resources, recreational crabbers are not allowed to set crabbing gear or crab from boats on Wednesdays. They can use pots set from private piers or dip nets or hand lines, sometimes called "chicken necking."

The regulation was put into place to help limit the recreational harvest of crabs and protect the crab population, said Brenda Davis, blue crab program manager with the DNR. However, the one-day ban has not produced the results regulators wanted.

"The population stayed below average and harvest rates remained high," Davis said.

Albert said it is a very common violation, but carries a potential $500 fine.

He said the delegate was very cooperative with police, and may not have even been aware of the Wednesday ban. The ban won't be in effect next week because of the Fourth of July holiday.

This citation comes a little more than a month after Dwyer pleaded guilty to operating his boat while drunk in August 2012. He and another boater collided while Dwyer was piloting his 27-foot Baja powerboat, The Legislator.

Albert could not say what type of boat Dwyer was crabbing from on Wednesday.

Dwyer and another boater collided near Cornfield Creek, an area at the top of Sillery Bay known for heavy marine traffic. His blood-alcohol content was measured at three times the legal threshold for intoxication.

The crash injured seven people including Dwyer and several children out for a day of tubing.

After a months-long investigation, Dwyer was charged late last year with ignoring nautical regulations that govern right of way and how boats pass one another. The same charges were filed against Mark "Randy" Harbin, a Pasadena resident who piloted the other boat.

District Court Judge Robert Wilcox sentenced Dwyer to 30 days in jail, one year supervised probation and a $1,000 fine. Fischer immediately filed an appeal. No date has been set for a hearing on the appeal. ___

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