When Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher committed suicide on December 1, he was legally drunk. Specifically, his blood-alcohol concentration was twice the legal limit.
According to the Kansas City Star, it was 0.17 percent.
But all this tells us is that, at the time Belcher died, his blood-alcohol content was 0.17 percent. It doesn’t tell us when he drank or how much he drank or where he drank.
It’s easy to assume that Belcher consumed no alcohol from the time police found him sleeping in his car, roughly five hours earlier. But if Belcher’s BAC were 0.17 percent at the time he died and he consumed no other alcohol after being found by police, the concentration could have been much higher when they encountered him.
Maybe that’s the case. Based on his alcohol content at the time he died, however, it’s impossible to know.
It’s possible that, after killing Kasandra Perkins, Belcher consumed alcohol. It’s possible that he did consumed alcohol just before killing her. We just don’t know that based on the concentration of alcohol in his bloodstream at the time he died.
Many will now question the failure of police to arrest Belcher, who was found asleep in his Bentley. But even if he was drunk enough at the time to have been justifiably detained, the possibility that Belcher would commit murder with a gun and then suicide falls far beyond the range of potential risks reasonably to foreseen when not arresting a potential drunk driver.
Obviously, Belcher wouldn’t have killed Perkins on Saturday morning if he’d been in jail. But that connection is far more coincidental than causal.