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Chargers' Williams Apparently Not Out Of The Woods Yet

On Tuesday, Chargers.com reported that defensive tackle Jamal Williams would not be charged with DUI because his blood alcohol concentration tested at an amount less than the legal limit of 0.08 percent following his February arrest.
The media hadn’t picked up on the story.  And we were confused by that.
We’re suddenly no longer confused.  For a change.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Williams is not yet out of the woods.  His blood sample showed a 0.07 BAC, only one one-hundredth of a percentage below the legal maximum.
Because the blood was drawn “well after” the arrest, it’s possible — if not likely — that Williams was legally drunk at the time he was driving.
Gina Coburn, a spokesperson for the San Diego city attorney, said that the matter is not closed.
“We try to make filing decisions as soon as possible after the arrest, but sometimes further investigation takes time, such as in this case,” Coburn told the Union-Tribune.

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27 Responses to “Chargers' Williams Apparently Not Out Of The Woods Yet”
  1. TheDPR says: Apr 2, 2009 12:19 PM

    If they wanted him to blow a .08 they should have tested him sooner.
    When you can start charging guys based on the fact that they were “probably” over the limit, you’re starting down a slippery slope, IMO.

  2. BrudLee says: Apr 2, 2009 12:20 PM

    Defense attorneys across California are salivating to call you as an expert witness, to differentiate betwixt “possible – if not likely” and “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

  3. smiley says: Apr 2, 2009 12:20 PM

    It doesn’t matter when the blood was drawn…who waited to draw it? the guy had 0.07…that’s not illegal.

  4. dcarde1 says: Apr 2, 2009 12:21 PM

    The DA can use retrograde extrapolation to prove intoxication but anyone with money can easily fight this although a 0.07 is awfully close to the limit. It will be close. The question that the defense can pose is if his level was RISING at the time of reading as opposed to FALLING which would be what the prosecution would argue. He easily could have been at .05 before the reading an worked himself up to a .07 and at that point in THEORY he may have peaked. After reconstruction and deconstruction of these seperate scenarios, he will ultimately get off because he has the funds for a good legal defense, then again, he is an NFL player and may not have any money left because last pay day was week 17 a few months ago.

  5. bigdaddy436 says: Apr 2, 2009 12:23 PM

    why is it always described as “legally drunk” ???
    Shouldn’t it be “Illegally drunk”?? ……….just asking ..

  6. truthsayer says: Apr 2, 2009 12:24 PM

    Yet they never hesitate to file charges when someone tests at .08 BAC despite the fact that they quite possibly were below the legal limit when they were actually driving. The police can’t have it both ways – wait, I guess they can…

  7. A_Cat_Named_Chicken says: Apr 2, 2009 12:25 PM

    So what your saying is he might of had his last drink right before he drove and his BAC was well below the .08 but 2 hours later it had climbed to .07

  8. r5156c says: Apr 2, 2009 12:26 PM

    I would get arrested driving TO the bar if the law is .08

  9. gameday says: Apr 2, 2009 12:32 PM

    Good luck trying to prove a DUI case when the test shows only 0.7. It doesnt matter how long after the arrest the test was taken, its the police responsibility to administor the test as soon as possible. If they try to make a case on the 0.7 results, they are wasting their time.

  10. LiveNBreath Football says: Apr 2, 2009 12:49 PM

    .08 is merely the rebuttable presumption of being impaired. You can — and will be – charged for Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Impaired if there are other objective factors that you were likely impaired. You can be stoned and have a Blood ALCOHOL Count of ZERO. Yet you are charged.
    .08 is just an arbitrary number arrived at to make it easier to prove. It is sufficient, but not necessary. Meaning, as stated above, you don’t have to have .08 to prove impairment, but having it is enough alone to charge.

  11. jvn36 says: Apr 2, 2009 12:54 PM

    it says he took a blood test… which means he took that down at the station… which means he refused a breathalyzer… which means he bought himself a lil extra time to sober up on the way downtown…. smart move …love jamal, love the bolts, hell get off and blow up offensive lines all next season…

  12. Inept_guy says: Apr 2, 2009 12:55 PM

    dcarde1 is mostly correct. He probably will get off, but when you are drinking alcohol, your BAC stops rising within 2 hours of consumption. So, if he took the test within 2 hours, then you can extrapolate in either direction, up or down. If it is after 2 hours, then it is declining. Police regularly wait to administer tests if they feel that you just left the bar or where ever and think that your BAC may be rising. If they feel that your BAC is probably declining, then they will usually rush the test. Either way, he probably gets off. Even if he doesn’t most people with that low of BAC on a first DUI get no jail time.

  13. jeadie5 says: Apr 2, 2009 12:57 PM

    Canada has a 12 hr suspension for anybody between .06 and .09 because they are smart enough not to waste their time on people who they know will be under by the time they give them the blood test.
    The 12 hr suspension is a pain in the ass as well because you have to pay to have your car towed, or have somebody come to where you are and get you.

  14. JimmyLions says: Apr 2, 2009 12:59 PM

    I was on the jury for a drunk driving case. One of the issues of a blood test is that it doesn’t show the alcohol level of the person at the time they were pulled over, and is typically higher. People think that doing the blood test will get them out of trouble, but while they’re waiting to have blood drawn they are digesting the alcohol in their stomach. Chances are their blood alcohol level is increasing, not decreasing.
    Driving under the influence is a separate charge than driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. That’s more an issue of whether the person’s driving was impacted by their intoxication at any level, and is strictly a judgment call by the jury.
    Unless they wrote him citations for erratic driving (which they’d use as evidence that he was under the influence), I don’t think they’ve got a case.

  15. Air10 says: Apr 2, 2009 1:07 PM

    thats an awfully big forest, if he isn’t out of it yet

  16. stealersrule says: Apr 2, 2009 1:26 PM

    Depending on the laws of the state, he still may be charged with an alcohol related crime. Some states have a intoxicated if over .08, and a under influence between .04 and .79.
    Some police departments calculatee a later time to take your BAC based on what you have had to drink and eat. Food can alter how the alcohol is distributed in your body.

  17. xskippzx says: Apr 2, 2009 1:28 PM

    I still think the .08 BAC legal limit is ridiculous. If I’m watching a football game, for example, my BAC is .07 halfway through the first quarter — and that’s only after a single “big” beer. If I go home at halftime and in no way feel impaired, I could still be charged with a DUI if some idiot were to run into me.

  18. Ray Guy says: Apr 2, 2009 1:51 PM

    He also can be charged with “driving under the influence”, regardless of the .08 vs .07, based on field sobriety tests.
    The delay in testing may have also been caused by the defendant. We don’t know.

  19. Boltschick says: Apr 2, 2009 1:53 PM

    The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his BAC was at least .08 at the time he was pulled over, and a jury must UNANIMOUSLY agree with the prosecution.
    As many intelligent posters have pointed out, it is possible that his BAC was actually lower when he was pulled over, and climbed upward as the alcohol from his last drink(s) went into his blood. Any decent expert can create reasonable doubt.
    Hopefully they won’t bother with this case.

  20. Tek9 says: Apr 2, 2009 2:11 PM

    What happend to my post, i was first it read as such….
    If his lawyer cant beat this he cant beat his own d(and three other letters)
    Was that wrong? should I have not done that, b/c had someone told me that was unacceptable I wouldn’t have entered the comment…

  21. mi beardo es loco says: Apr 2, 2009 2:15 PM

    and why is canabis illegal again?

  22. TacoYaco says: Apr 2, 2009 2:45 PM

    It’s almost impossible for a lawyer to get someone off in California even with 0.08. That fact that the line is so firm and the validity of the tools and methods used to calculate BAC are never scientifically questioned.. means to me that 0.07 is completely clear! Though if Williams told the officer he just had a beer at the bar – maybe they can say his BAC was still rising?

  23. TacoYaco says: Apr 2, 2009 2:49 PM

    0.08 means you shouldnt plan on driving the day you drink. It’s basically 0 tolerance, but if it was actually 0 then even mouthwashes and people who drank the day before would be DUI.
    If he was pulled over for not having a front license plate I think he should be free. If someone is pulled over for speeding or blowing a stop sign and has 0.05-0.07 then I think they should be charged with something, just not to the extent of a DUI.

  24. smiley says: Apr 2, 2009 3:56 PM

    Not every state allows for a jury, sometimes it’s the judge and you.

  25. backwerds says: Apr 2, 2009 4:15 PM

    The mouthwash excuse just involves them testing you 10-15 minutes later.
    Issue with pot and driving involves both legality of substance and the impaired state of mind. If i recall from labor and employment class, many companies do drug tests because marijuana can slowdown response time even after you are high. not here to debate issue, but that is why most companies drug test.
    To blow something just under .08, he would have had to consume around four beers in an hour. Provided he has a decent lawyer that will prove that his BAC was going down and that the police tested him only once (instead of monitoring the BAC to see if it was rising or falling) he can arguably fight it.
    Honestly speaking though, he’s going to be subjected to a meeting with the Commish. He may be better off settling out of court quickly and doing his community service.

  26. mi beardo es loco says: Apr 2, 2009 6:35 PM

    @ backwerds,
    I think you’re right. I just think that Williams will be hit with the infamous DWI (driving while intoxicated) excuse. They’ll get him no matter what.
    As for pot, I just find it mindblowing that William Randolph Hurst created the word “marijuana” to ban so they would stop printing on hemp paper and start printing on tree paper so he could get rich. In fact, his now famous slogan was that “marijuana” grows in Mexico and Mexican men and black men would rape white women after smoking it. America grew up in arms and had NO CLUE they were outlawing cannabis. It’s insane that politicians still find it funny and pass it off so easily when we could be taxing the stuff. Also, it would take away the ENABLERS, because the pot is not an enabling drug, it’s the dealers that are.
    That, and weed doesn’t effect reaction time as much as alcohol does while drunk.
    Sorry I’m ranting. I was arguing with a coworker this morning about it and he had no clue what he was talking about.
    And I don’t even smoke. Only tried it once in my teens, got sick, and never smoked it again.

  27. backwerds says: Apr 3, 2009 1:58 AM

    @ mi beardo es loco
    the whole history behind the banning of marijuana is an entertaining one in deed. well worth the investigating, even if you aren’t a smoker of sorts. I believe that they got marijuana banned right before a new process was scheduled to come out that would have made it 5 times more efficient than trees for pulp to make rope and/or paper. Hell many of our important government documents are even written on hemp-pulp.
    as far as I’m concerned, I’d rather not deal with anyone under the influence of any sort of substance while on the road (alcohol, weed, speed, meth, hell even a quadruple dose of mountain dew while chewing pixie sticks)

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