Crime

2 people jump before Lake Wylie boat crash; second driver charged with boating DUI

Boating drunk in S.C. could land you in prison for 25 years — the same as a DUI

Did you know the penalties for boating under the influence are almost the same as drunk driving in South Carolina? Here's a closer look at BUI penalties — and how DUI laws compare.
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Did you know the penalties for boating under the influence are almost the same as drunk driving in South Carolina? Here's a closer look at BUI penalties — and how DUI laws compare.

Two people jumped in the water before a boat crash Thursday on Lake Wylie, officials said. The driver of the other boat was charged with boating DUI, South Carolina wildlife officials said.

Michael George Tsoulos, 33, of Charlotte, was charged with water DUI with property damage and negligent operation of a water device, according to York County jail records and Pfc. Aukeem Ruff of S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

The crash happened around 7 p.m. near Crowders Creek Cove, Ruff said. Two people fishing leaped into the water before the boat operated by Tsoulos collided with the bass boat, Ruff said.

“Alcohol was a contributing factor,” Ruff said.

A passenger in Tsoulos’ boat had minor injuries and was transported to Piedmont Medical Center for treatment, Ruff said. No one else was injured, he said.

Tsoulos picked up the two people in the water in his boat and took them to a nearby dock where 911 was called, Ruff said.

York County Sheriff’s Office deputies assisted DNR wildlife officers in the crash investigation.

Tsoulos was arrested and taken to the York County jail where he was booked Friday morning pending a bond hearing.

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