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People v. Armitage
California Courts of Appeal
239 Cal. Rptr. 515 (1987)
David Armitage (defendant) and his friend Peter Maskovich became intoxicated at a bar. Armitage and Maskovich decided to take Armitage’s small aluminum boat, which had no personal flotation devices, out on the Sacramento River in the middle of the night while they were still intoxicated. Armitage and Maskovich operated the boat erratically at high speed with no running lights. The boat capsized and Armitage and Maskovich were thrown into the water and initially held onto the upturned hull. Despite Armitage’s instructions to remain with the boat, Maskovich attempted to swim to shore and drowned. Armitage was charged with the felony of drunk boating resulting in death. Armitage alleged that his actions were not the proximate cause of Maskovich’s death because Maskovich attempted to swim to shore against his instructions.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sparks, J.)
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