UPDATE: Friday, speaker Michael E. Busch released the following statement on this incident:
"First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the individuals who were injured in this accident and I wish them all a speedy recovery.
As is typically the case where there is an ongoing criminal investigation, the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics will defer any action until the conclusion of the judicial process.
This incident highlights the importance of boating safety and the dangers of alcohol use on our waterways. Those of us who work, live and play on the water have a personal responsibility to maintain the highest standards of safety at all times."
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland lawmaker admitted that he was drinking before operating a motorboat that collided with another vessel, injuring him and five others.
Delegate Don Dwyer said at a news conference Thursday afternoon at Shock Trauma in Baltimore that he regretted his actions, saying no one should ever drink and operate a motor vehicle or powerboat.
Dwyer did not take questions at the news conference, where he appeared in a wheelchair, with an Ace bandage on his left foot.
Dwyer and five others, including three children, were hospitalized after the accident Wednesday night on the Magothy River near Gibson Island. None of the injuries was considered to be life-threatening on Thursday.
Capt. Jerry Kirkwood, a spokesman for the Maryland Natural Resources Police, said Thursday that a blood sample was taken after Delegate Don Dwyer was taken to a Baltimore Hospital.
Kirkwood says it's standard procedure for a blood sample to be taken from a boat operator in an accident involving potential life-threatening injuries.
Kirkwood did not elaborate on what made investigators believe alcohol may have been a factor. He says it could range from smelling alcohol or observing containers.
Matt Jablow of 9News reported from the scene that two boats were involved and that witnesses say the boats collided nearly head on. One boat was reportedly towing a young child in a tube, according to witnesses.
All nine people on board the boats were rescued by Pasadena residents who set out in their own boats to pull the boaters to safety.
Seven of the nine were taken to area hospitals, and reportedly none suffered life-threatening injuries.
One of the boats was able to be driven back to shore, while the other sank after the collision.