Southern Bama said:
He was fortunate to slither away from this charge. DUI cases are more difficult to prosecute than a murder case...alot of BS technical aspects. He was drunk...no doubt..played the system with a smart DUI attorney and won the case.
Normally, I would say that someone tried and acquited has not 'slither(ed) away' but actually found 'not guilty.' (Obviously there are some exceptions - OJ Simpson for one.) Usually, I just presume that evidence of guilt was insufficient.
But, in this case I tend to agree with you after reading the AP report. Of particular note from the story is the following...
(Municipal Judge James Sweet) said Stabler refused to take a breath test. Sweet ruled that police did not observe Stabler for the entire time before the defendant was asked to take the test and would not allow the refusal to be entered as evidence.
So, Stabler's refusal to take the test was not allowed as evidence because Stabler was not under observation at all times between being arrested and asked to perform the test?
What could have occurred between the arrest and the request? Would Stabler, having been stopped for DUI but not have been drinking up to that point, suddenly drink alcohol after being stopped? Was the judge afraid that this possible post-arrest consumption of alcohol would result in the breath-test showing alcohol in Stabler's system but there being some doubt if that alcohol was present at the time of the arrest or came later?
Either the judge is an idiot or suffers from celebrity-worship or the law is very poorly written.
In any way, Stabler just received the hail-maryest of all hail-mary's. Whatever he paid that attorney - or judge, was money well spent.
And the judge just took a huge step at putting the citizens of South Alabama at physical risk. He has come close to gutting the concept that refusing to take a breath-test is admissible evidence of guilt in all DUI cases.