Oct 19

DeBusschere Acquitted – 1986 The New York Times Company

Copyright 1986 The New York Times Company
The New York Times

November 27, 1986, Thursday, Late City Final Edition

SECTION: Section D; Page 17, Column 1; Sports Desk

LENGTH: 223 words

HEADLINE: SPORTS PEOPLE;
DeBusschere Acquitted

BODY:

Dave DeBusschere, the former player and executive for the Knicks,
was acquitted yesterday of a charge of drunken driving by a
six-member jury in Nassau County District Court. The jury took 19
hours over three days to decide the case, which followed
DeBusschere’s arrest last July after a police officer said he had observed
DeBusschere’s station wagon moving erratically on a road in West
Hempstead, L.I.

DeBusschere testified that he had three bottles of beer and two vodka
and sodas during a four-hour period preceding his arrest. But he said he
was not drunk and that if he was driving erratically, it was because he
had lost his way as he left a restaurant and was confused as he
attempted to turn.

Stephen Scaring, DeBusschere’s lawyer, said that the Breathalyzer
machine used by the police to measure DeBusschere’s blood alcohol
level had provided inaccurate information and that the machine had
been improperly maintained. The machine tested DeBusschere’s blood
alcohol at 0.16, well above the 0.10 needed to show intoxication, but
the machine broke down several days later and underwent extensive
repair.

DeBusschere, who is 46 years old, described the trial as ”a very rough
time” and said of the Breathalyzer, ”This machine is playing God with
someone’s life. I just feel sorry for those who are convicted by it.”