Last week, a judge threw out a drunk driving charge against the former chief of the Federal Aviation Administration after seeing a recording of the traffic stop far from us here in Newburgh.
Unfortunately, the career of Randy Babbitt, 65, has already been derailed by the arrest last December in Virginia.
Babbitt had been accused of DWI and driving the wrong way on the road. After reviewing the video of the traffic stop, the judge in the case found that Babbitt had made a left-hand turn into a parking lot not -- that he was driving on the wrong side of the street.
The judge said the police officer who pulled the former head of the FAA over was playing a "hunch."
After Babbitt was pulled over, he was given a Breathalyzer test. The initial test showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.07 percent, below the legal threshold. The officer tested Babbitt's breath again and got a reading of 0.08 percent, exactly the threshold for DWI.
After Babbitt's arrest, the police at first declined to disclose the particulars of his blood alcohol testing. In hindsight, it's easy to see why police were reluctant.
Babbitt had been a dinner party in Fairfax, an area with which he's not familiar, his attorney said.
Several guests at the dinner were ready to testify at trial that Babbitt had consumed two to three glasses of wine over a period of four hours. None saw any sign of impairment, apparently.
Before they were able to take the stand, the judge dismissed the charge, however.
Afterwards, Babbitt wrote to a media source: "I am thrilled the charges against me have been dismissed at trial and I have been found not guilty."
As this case shows, an experienced attorney knows how to successfully challenge a breath test and use the police cruiser's video to protect a client.
Source: Huffington Post, "Judge dismisses DWI charges against ex-FAA chief," May 10, 2012
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