Police: Stabler nixed breath test
Robertsdale police say ex-Bama star QB refused analysis after Sunday DUI arrest
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
By JOSH BEAN
ROBERTSDALE — Former Alabama quarterback Ken Stabler refused to take a breathalyzer test Sunday morning after his arrest for driving under the influence, said Robertsdale Assistant Police Chief Brian Middleton.
Stabler was driving a white 2007 Dodge Durango north on Alabama 59 on Sunday morning when a patrolman stopped him near Hub City Grocery at 12:32 a.m., according to the police report. Stabler was given a field sobriety test, Middleton said, but the assistant chief declined to describe the details of it because the case remains under investigation.
A video camera mounted on the dashboard of a police cruiser taped the incident, but Middleton declined to release the tape, again citing the ongoing investigation.
"There was probable cause (for Stabler) to be arrested for driving under the influence," Middleton said
After arriving at the city jail, the silver-haired, 62-year-old Stabler refused to take the breath test, which would have been used to determine whether his blood-alcohol level was above or below the state limit of .08. He was charged with reckless driving and driving under the influence.
Stabler's sport utility vehicle was impounded, but it was released to the former quarterback and current analyst for Alabama football radio broadcasts when he posted a $1,000 bond at 1:16 p.m. Sunday. Stabler was driving alone, according to the police report, and he did not resist arrest. No one was injured in the early morning incident.
Efforts to reach Stabler at his Mobile home and through e-mail on his Web site failed. He is scheduled to appear in Robertsdale Municipal Court for a preliminary hearing on the charges Aug. 13, Middleton said.
On Monday afternoon, Stabler's Web site, www.kenstabler.com, featured three new posts on his guestbook — one that implored him to "stop drinking" and "wake up"; one that sarcastically called him a "good role model for our kids"; and a third that proclaimed Stabler "the greatest QB to ever play the game."
The Sunday arrest marked the second time since 2001 that Stabler has been arrested in Baldwin County on DUI charges. In 2001, he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence after being arrested in Orange Beach. Stabler entered that plea as part of a deal whereby the police dropped drug and reckless driving charges. In 1995, the former quarterback pleaded no contest to a DUI charge in Escambia County, Fla.
Alabama law calls for harsher sentences, including mandatory jail time or community service, for anyone convicted of a second DUI in a five-year period. Since Stabler's last DUI conviction was seven years ago, he would not automatically get a stiffer sentence if convicted, although a prosecutor could argue for a tougher penalty based on his past DUIs.
Stabler works out of Mobile but keeps a place in Gulf Shores, according to a 2006 Press-Register story, but the Robertsdale arrest report lists him as "unemployed." For the past 11 seasons, Stabler has sat alongside Eli Gold as a Crimson Tide football analyst for football broadcasts.
The university released prepared statements from Athletic Director Mal Moore and Learfield Communications Senior Vice President Steve Gowan about the situation, and both indicated Stabler will not be fired in the wake of his most recent arrest. Stabler remained on the Tide's radio crew after his 2001 arrest in Orange Beach, when his blood-alcohol level tested at beyond the state's legal limit.
"Kenny has always been supportive of Alabama athletics," Moore said in his statement, "and it's in times like these that his friends need to be supportive of him. It's my understanding that this situation is in its early stages, and a lot of the information is still being gathered. With that in mind, I think it would be disrespectful and irresponsible to comment any further."