Environment Agency successfully prosecutes drunk driver for speeding on the Medway Navigation

A reckless boat owner has been prosecuted by the Environment Agency for exceeding the speed limit on the Medway Navigation.

Mr Dan Casson of Hollingworth Road, Maidstone, was found guilty in his absence and fined £500 and ordered to pay £190 costs and £15 victim surcharge at Maidstone Magistrates Court.

On Saturday 28 July 2007 at approximately 11pm, Mr Casson was moving at an estimated speed of 20 knots, in a 5-knot area, when he collided with a police boat and then continued to travel down the river towards Allington.

Four police officers from Kent Police Marine Unit were patrolling the River Medway as part of the Maidstone River Festival. After completing their patrol, the constables waited in a queue to use the slipway near the Dragon’s Leisure Centre in Maidstone. It was here that Mr Casson’s Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB), which did not have any navigation lights, hit the police boat and sped off.

When considering the fine for this case, the magistrate took into account the high speed that the boat was travelling, the damage to both boats involved, the fact that the defendant was considered to be drunk and the increased danger of speeding on a river.

PC Robert Dadd of Kent Police said: ‘We are pleased that the Environment Agency was successful with this prosecution. We hope it will send a clear and strong message that drinking alcohol while using boats is dangerous. In this instance, it was extremely fortunate that nobody was hurt.’