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Judge dismisses DWI charges against ex-FAA chief

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At a trial Thursday, General District Judge Ian O'Flaherty dismissed the case after seeing video that showed Babbitt making what appeared to be a normal left turn into a parking lot, even though the officer had said that Babbitt had been driving on the wrong side of the road. (thetandd.com) עוד...

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jatherton
John Atherton 5
At least he wasn't so crass as to state that he was found innocent...
Not guilty just implies that the prosecution did a lousy job.
JJ7
JJ Johnson 6
The cops are becoming revenue generating NAZI's who could care less what the facts are. A shakedown squad with blue lights and a gun. Their credibility is crap in my eyes in Police State America nothing but goons with badges and guns. It's time we rein them in.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Unfortunately that'll never happen. My 17 year old son recently got his drivers and pilots license, and got slapped with a ticket for doing 50 in a 45. I was driving with him after that , and the pig next to us was texting and driving. You could see it clearly, we were in heavy traffic side by side...
davidsonraymond
Ray Davidson 2
Most enforcement officers want to be Dirty Harry. Most citizens want their enforcement officers to be Andy Griffith. But in reality most enforcement officers end up looking like Barny Fiffe. Aunt B is in jail again.
Jennett
Jenny Hitchens 1
I agree; well said.
tf51d
Thomas Cain 2
While I agree it would have been hard to get a conviction with an initial .07 alcohol blood count, I don't agree the Police didn't have probable cause to stop him. Even if the video didn't show him driving on the wrong side of the road as they stated, it did as the prosecution pointed out show he didn't use turn signals. That gives the Police the probable cause to pull him over.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
.07 is probably 2 drinks. Not exactly on a binge.
OhanaUnited
OhanaUnited 1
Wonder why the 2nd reading shows .08. Rounding error on machine?
fsonnabend
Frank Sonnabend 1
We have corporate executives that use their employees retirement funds (ask a retired Pan AM employee that worked for years how much he gets - 0) Check the stats on our U.S. Congress DUI or other criminal records, priests that fondle little boys and fraud in Corporate America that destroys good people's lives for their own greed.
Let's focus on the big picture people - we can't even put a human in space anymore, our children's educational level is declining compared to many other countries in the world and Americans are turned away for medical care. This whole matter should be on the side of the newspaper that's on top in the bird cage.
rick737
richard weiss 1
Frank did you ever fly T-39 for the Navy
fsonnabend
Frank Sonnabend 2
Richard - unfortunately I didn't serve (wish I had) but I went into the airlines and have made it a goal to fly every type of thing that will get off the ground. Ultra-lights and aerobatics are the most fun you can have with your clothes on. I read your other comments and agree with you on the 60 year age limit. I think the best example of that is Hoot Gibson who at the time had more hours flying the space shuttle than anyone (and among other things had flown over 111 types of aircraft) was REQUIRED to retire from Southwest Airlines in 2006 when he turned 60. I don't know about you but I sure would rather have him in the left seat of the plane I'm on than someone else.
rick737
richard weiss 0
Hate to brag, but I flew with Hoot at SWA. It's very humbling having an FO with five shuttle missions. One of Greats. I knew a Jerry Sonnebend in the Navy who went to work for Pan Am. Sounds like you have had a great career. Never quit.
fsonnabend
Frank Sonnabend 1
Richard - Congrats. I was on original Air & Space Heritage team which got Smithsonian Advah Hazi extension to Smithsonian built at IAD. If you haven't been there - GO! Worked with a great group of folks including John Glenn, Scotty Crossfield and Gen. Miller (Marine father of Harrrier). The names you wouldn't recognize were as instrumental in the challenges we faced. Wish like the devil I could return to the airlines but time and economics have taken their toll. I have an uncle who was a gunner in Avengers in WWII - the crews were up for the DFC but only the pilots got one. There are 8 left in his squadron and he has terminal cancer. Sure would like to see him get the recognition he deserves
before his passing - any ideas. George H.W. was an Avenger pilot in the same campaign in the Pacific but how do I get to him? Anyone reading this got any suggestions?
douglas393
Douglas Hershkowitz 1
Whether or not he was exonerated the police officer saw something that made him feel that Mr Babbit was DUI. His "hunch" was right and Mr Babbitt got off on a technicality. He should be investigated by the FAA and should be held to the same standards the rest of us are. Instead, he is getting congratulations from his friends such as AOPA chief Mr. Craig Fueller. Instead of supporting Mr Babbitt, we should be demanding accountability. Thankfully he was not in a plane. We all should be disgusted at this and protest loudly, as we all know if he was a nobody without friends and high powered lawyer the end result would be different.
tf51d
Thomas Cain 1
While I agree it would have been hard to get a conviction with an initial .07 alcohol blood count, I don't agree the Police didn't have probable cause to stop him. Even if the video didn't show him driving on the wrong side of the road as they stated, it did as the prosecution pointed out show he didn't use turn signals. That gives the Police the probable cause to pull him over.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT -1
The pigs don't even use turn signals, the citizens should be citing them and the ones leaving the bar over the limit...
ATCguy1
ATCguy1 3
Why do you keep calling them pigs? How about cop or police officer? You sound like one of those pissed off Occupy idiots. Have some tact man.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
Speaking about tact, take a look at yourself. You're calling the Occupy people, "idiots."
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
The adjectives used on this website are generally not very tactful. I am GUILTY! Now we got the pot calling the kettle black. lol
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
I'm not one of those occupy people. I refer to the few good ones as officers, and the majority that are corrupt, law-breaking, hiding behind the badge as pigs. You sound pissed though!!!
ATCguy1
ATCguy1 1
That's right, I did call the Occupy people idiots...beacause they are. They get in the way of day to day city life and contribute nothing to society. Law enforcement officals, on the other hand, put their lives on the line each and every day to protect the citizens they serve. Like any occupation, there are a few bad apples, but to label the majority "corrupt and law-breaking" is just wrong. Sounds like someone has a problem with authority.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
That's your right to call the Occupy people idiots, like it's mine to call the law breaking police pigs. Notice I said the ones that break the law and hide behind the badge.
Also that they put their lives on the line every day, that's the job they chose, don't bitch about it. It's the same as the regional pilot that bitches about the pay, they knew what they were getting into.
To summarize this, you're telling me I don't have any tact, which by the way I'm proud of,and you don't either.
jmilleratp
jmilleratp 1
Sounds like there were a number of key mistakes in his arrest and trial. Not Guilty sounds justified.
capnjohn767
John Roberts 0
huh?? what was his B.A.L?
cm5299
Chuck Me 2
.07 on the first test according to the article.
cm5299
Chuck Me 9
Even if they didn't throw it out, it looks like they would have had a hard time getting a conviction. You can't keep testing someone until you get a result the cops like.

You may not like the way he ran the FAA, but it's a shame the guy lost his job because of a BS charge.
rick737
richard weiss 1
He may not have deserved the shafting by the police, but he finally got a slap in the mouth for the way he treated older pilots 5 years ago during the Age 60 debate, while head of ALPA. If he hadn't prolonged the fight, I would have retire 8 days ago, not 5 year and 8 days ago. He can't be punished enough for that.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
He would have walked if he blew a .15. We know why. I understand where you are coming from. We know how the system works.
jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti -2
it is not a shame. if he never consumed alcohol he wouldn't have this problem. im glad he lost his job, he should have been convicted.
fredrok
Fred White 3
I'll bet you're a hoot to spend time with.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
Consuming alcohol isn't a problem, being a habitual drunk is...
JetMech24
JetMech24 -1
I suppose you agree with prohibition too?
jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti 1
no i do not. i also do not believe in the controlled substance act or the marijuana tax act. but if you drink a lot of alcohol, don't expect the same quality of life as someone who does not. alcohol is a toxin it kills cells, and your body works to expel it from the moment you drink it.

there was a reason J. Edgar Hoover was a strictler about his agents not being alcoholics. It's a stupefying intoxicant.
rick737
richard weiss 2
If alcohol is killing me why has my cardiologist recommended I have a glass of red wine with dinner? Moderation is the key Jayden. Extremism in either direction never works.
jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti 0
you have a cardiologist: meaning, your Pilot's License is already in jeopardy. enough said, alcohol probably got you to this junction today, and now you think it will actually help your heart health. good luck with that I wish you the best.

so what who cares whatyour doctor said. he could say smoke medical marijuana, that doesn't mean you're fit to be a licensed pilot.
rick737
richard weiss 0
I retired from flying at age 60 due to the stupid rules at the time. I just turned 65 a few days ago and am still fit to hold a class one. Since you've decided to take over the job of my doctor, spiritualist and life coach, I suppose you'll be billing me for the services. Jayden, if you don't want to have a drink, fine, I don't care. But how about minding your own business, and keeping it to yourself. The majority of the writers here, think you're weird.
jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti 0
well gladly the system weeded you out from flying. it was time you retired to your alcohol abuse.
rick737
richard weiss 1
good luck in future endeavors, Jayden. Just like Bill Joel said "never argue with a crazy man". So I'll just not do it.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 0
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
I've been experimenting (for about 30 yrs) trying to find the middle of the spectrum as relates to Jack Daniels.lol
JetMech24
JetMech24 0
Thank you for the the health class refresher, but its obvious that you do agree with it. He blew a .07, making him legal, but busted him anyways, thats why he was charged with DWI instead of DUI. So he lost his job for NO reason. Could happen to any of us.
jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti 1
no it couldn't.
jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti 1
if it could you don't deserve to be a commercial pilot. not saying you are, but if a commercial pilot blows a .07 before a flight, he's toast.
JetMech24
JetMech24 0
Now you're comparing apples and oranges, he was driving, not flying.
smphillipstx
Stephen Phillips 3
Being the highest official with the FAA, he should have set an example for othes to follow . . .
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Have you ever driven after having two drinks?
JetMech24
JetMech24 -1
He was not driving drunk, he was legal, PERIOD. I would absolutely agree if he was over the limit and driving drunk, but he wasn't. He had one or two drinks, which is WAY better than a lot of people that get busted. The way you all talk the limit should be .00, which is just ridiculus.
smphillipstx
Stephen Phillips 2
Just because he had not reached the statue definition of illegally intoxicated during the first breath sample, does not take away from setting an example considering the level of professionalism expected from a the top FAA official. Makes one wonder how many times he launched with Eastern “buzzed’, but not legally drunk (FAA). The cop should have called someone to come get Babbitt and save the embarrassment. If you drink, don't operate a motor vehicle or aircraft.
jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti 1
Besides, it's not what you blow. It's whether or not you were intoxicated. Your judgment was impaired.

Which is why in the court of law the charges come in pairs. One for driving over the legal limit of .08 and the other charge is for driving while intoxicated. So that if you were not considered to be intoxicated, you can still get convicted of being over the legal limit. And vice versa. If he blows a .07 and is stumbling over the place and fails the field sobriety tests, he can still get convicted of driving while intoxicated but not for being over the legal limit. Same goes for drugs which no bac can detect.
JetMech24
JetMech24 0
Maybe in YOUR state. But you probably don't even know anyone that has had a DUI. If they cant get you on a DUI they give you a DWI, which is what happened here and is harder to fight against. The way you "say" it works charges you twice for the same crime which is illegal.
jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti 1
nope. because if you get a dui your pilot's licenses may be in jeopardy. there is a reason the FAA mandates you inform them of any dui's or changes of status to your driver's license.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
A DUI in your car puts your pilots license in jeopardy. That too is apples/oranges. Big brother bs.
mynewego
mynewego -1
You know what happened because of prohibition? The MOB. You really think people are going to stop enjoying alcohol because some jerk off with moral agenda in a position of power wants you to live the same life as he does. Please don't get confused here, yes alcohol is poison, but is also delicious and humans have been consuming it for centuries. If you drink too much milk it will hurt you, so? do you wanna limit the amount of milk people can drink too? What does quality of life mean to you?
Flymikeg
Michael Gaillard 1
Your remark "thankfully he was not in a plane"...What an idiotic statement Douglas. I'm not sure why you're bitter about this incident, but let the justice system do it's job.

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