The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Former Cop William Haviland Beats DUI Charge w/o BAC

Former Philadelphia cop William Haviland was arrested for a DUI after leaving a Tacony bar. However, a Breathalyzer test showing Haviland to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit was not used at his trial due to an inaccurate calibration of the device.

So, a Philadelphia judge found that there was not enough evidence proving that Haviland was drunk and decided the former cop was not guilty of the DUI, reports the Philadelphia Daily News.

Without a Breathalyzer test result, it is still possible to prove that someone was legally drunk. Prosecutors can introduce witnesses who will testify that the defendant was drinking and present other evidence like traffic violations or accidents that support drunken driving.

In this case, that's exactly what prosecutors did arguing that Haviland was clearly drunk when he left the bar. Several prosecution witnesses testified that the cop appeared drunk and was belligerent at the bar. One Hispanic man even said that Haviland hurled racial epithets at him, prompting the man to call 911, reports the Daily News.

However, the judge considered this evidence and still found that it was not enough. The judge said the fact that Haviland was able to drive down a narrow street after leaving the bar showed that he was sober. The judge described Haviland's drive down Flora Street without losing a side mirror or causing an accident the equivalent of a field sobriety test.

So while William Haviland may have had a drink or two, prosecutors could not show he was drunk in the absence of a Breathalyzer test and with a passed "field sobriety test."

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