Fired Philadelphia Cop Wants Job Back After DUI Acquittal

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A fired Philadelphia police officer has been acquitted of driving under the influence while on duty and in uniform.

The defense concedes that then-officer William Haviland was drinking in a bar while on duty, in uniform and armed.   But Haviland’s attorney argued that his client was not impaired.

Today, Judge Roger Gordon found Haviland not guilty, citing evidence that Haviland had driven his patrol car without crashing.

“The judge said his operation of the vehicle was a de facto field sobriety test,” said defense attorney Joseph Kelly.  “I mean, if you know the 26th District, Flora Street is a very small street, and as the one sergeant testified, very hard to navigate — sober, intoxicated, or otherwise.”

The case was also tainted by a faulty breathalyzer unit that has also undermined about 1,500 other suspected DUI cases.

Witnesses from inside the bar had testified that Officer Haviland was drinking, smelled of alcohol, and was making racial slurs — a specific charge the defense denies.

Kelly says Haviland, who had a previous DUI case in the suburbs and was fired after this incident (see previous story), now wants his Philadelphia police job back.

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  • Hater

    After risking my life all day fighting an uphill battle in this cesspool of a city and watching criminals get set free by liberal ahole judges, I’d need a drink too. No one here ever had a drink with lunch?

    • me

      No, not while working.

  • Mary

    He was drinking on the job regardless of whether he was drung or sober. This guy has some big ones wanting his job back.

  • Peter

    Since when is nothaving an accident a defense to drunk driving? Sounds like special treatment to me.

    • Truth is

      He wasn’t acquitted because “he didn’t have an accident”. He was acquitted because the prosecution had no evidence he was above the legal limit to be charged with DUI. The witnesses (for the prosecution) all stated he did not drive recklessly, swerve or speed. The judge used the fact that he drove in a safe manner, i.e.- did not crash as a de facto sobriety test in absence of a breathalyzer. So with no breathalyzer and no field sobriety test (which is not performed in Philadelphia), the state could not prove without doubt that Mr. Haviland was above the legal BAC limit. So since the judge followed proper law in his ruling, it’s special treatment? Wah. Mr. Hanson could have added some more details here.

  • sameoldstory

    drinking on the job? isn’t that enough grounds for termination..could this guy really defend himself and the public if he had to? could he fire a weapon properly and accurately. Keep the public safe and do not re hire.

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