Boater Busted with 7th DUI

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on July 1, 2009 in Drunken Driving Accidents
Updated on February 24, 2022

DUIs happen not only on Wisconsin’s roadways, but also on the state’s waterways as well. According to the Winona County Sheriffs Office, a Galesville man with six previous DUI convictions narrowly missed eight young swimmers before crashing his boat. He was arrested for operating under the influence.

Curtis James Harnish, 54, was operating a 14-foot fishing boat when, according to his statement, he thought he saw someone he recognized on Cotter Island on the Mississippi River. Traveling at high speeds, Harnish attempted to turn his boat sharply and hit the wing dam, then hit a beached pontoon boat.

Witnesses said had it not been for the pontoon boat, Harnish would have struck the group of swimmers ranging from 5 to 11-years-old. Harnish’s BAC was .18.

He was charged with first-degree boating while intoxicated.

Harnish has six prior DUI convictions; three in Wisconsin and three in Illinois and is currently on probation in Wisconsin for a 2008 conviction. One of the conditions of his probation prohibits him from consuming alcohol.

With the 4th of July weekend nearing, the entire team of Milwaukee injury attorneys and support staff at PKSD hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Independence Day!

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