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Drunken Boater Not Charged in Connection with Friend’s Death

A Los Angeles man was sentenced to 36 months of probation in Sonoma County Superior Court on October 12th, 2016 in connection with the death of his lifelong friend while wakeboarding out on Lake Sonoma earlier this year.

The defendant, 30-year-old Andrew Scheff, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of operating a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more, while a concurrent misdemeanor boating under the influence charge was dismissed. According to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office, prosecutors found that there was insufficient evidence to prove that boating under the influence caused the death of Scheff’s friend, Brian Allan Edwards, clearing him of responsibility.

On July 24th, Edwards had been wakeboarding on the lake while Scheff drove the boat at approximately 20 mph when he fell and suffered a blow to the head. After swimming back to the boat and complaining of back pain, Scheff took Edwards back to the private marina where boaters subsequently called 911. After exhibiting signs of intoxication, sheriffs required Scheff to submit to a breath test upon arrival, at which time he registered a BAC more than twice the legal limit. Though treated by paramedics and airlifted to a local hospital, Edwards would later succumb to his injuries.

Attorney Jeffrey Vallens, Scheff’s counsel, said the death was a tragic accident due to Scheff’s and Edwards’ lifelong friendship. For more information on this important story, head over to

Powerful San Fernando Valley Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Jeffrey Vallens and his team of San Fernando Valley DUI lawyers have defended clients like Scheff throughout the Los Angeles and Ventura County areas in complex drunk driving cases for more than 60 years combined, securing numerous victories along the way. If you have been accused of drunk driving, our legal team can craft a viable legal strategy based on the facts and fight to maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome for your situation.

Call (818) 783-5700 or fill out an online form today to discover your legal options in detail.