Chicago Boater Faces Stiff Penalty after Killing Boy in DUI Accident

Chicago, IL- A Chicago-area man is facing 10 years in jail after killing a 10-year old boy in a boating accident last July.

David Hatyina, 51, sobbed in court as he apologized to Tony Borcia’s family, but his remorse was not going to prevent the judge from giving him significant jail time. According to the Chicago Tribune, prosecutors in the case asked for the maximum sentence of 14 years.

Hatyina was operating his speed boat under the influence of cocaine and alcohol on July 28th on the Chain O’Lakes when he struck and killed 10 year-old Tony Borcia who was tubing on the lake. He was charged with reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol involving death.

Borcia was riding on an inner tube with his 12 year-old sister which was being pulled by a pontoon boat driven by his father when he fell off.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Tony, who was wearing a life-jacket, was bobbing in the water when his father began to turn the pontoon around to pick him up when he saw a large white boat, “flying down the middle of the lake and bearing down on his son,” a news release said.

“Since the time I struck and killed this 10-year-old boy, I can’t eat or sleep … So help me God, I am sorry,” said Hatyina, said at his sentencing hearing, the Tribune reported. “I feel so badly. The pain will never go away.”

Following his criminal trial, prosecutors discovered that Hatyina was convicted of DUI in 1996, but it was wiped from his record after he completed court supervision. He also vowed to never use drugs or alcohol again.

Hatyina’s remorse however was not enough to convince the court to be lenient on him, “I understand your sorrow, regret and remorse, but that does not change your choice to operate a boat under the influence … killing Tony,” Judge Clint Hull said at the sentencing hearing. “It was too late for your family and for the Borcia family.”

Operating any type of “vehicle,” whether it is a boat, car or even a bicycle, under the influence can be dangerous. Alcohol at level can hinder a person’s abilities to operate a vehicle safely. But since people are not known to make the best decisions while under the influence of alcohol, many people chose to boat or drive under the influence.

Even when you make the decision to drive or boat under the influence, you deserve to provide a defense on your behalf. There are numerous mitigating circumstances that accompany a DUI charge and these can be utilized to help a person avoid a conviction or at the least plea for a reduced sentence.

An effective DUI defense requires the assistance of an effective and highly-skilled Chicago DUI attorney. No one should try to navigate the DUI courts on their own and won’t have to if they retain counsel.