Stabler acquitted

Updated: October 23, 2008, 12:45 AM ET
Associated Press

ROBERTSDALE, Ala. -- Former Alabama and NFL quarterback Ken Stabler has been found not guilty of drunken driving charges in south Alabama.

Stabler was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after being stopped shortly after midnight June 8 on Alabama 59 in Robertsdale, near Mobile Bay.

After more than three hours of testimony, acting Municipal Judge James Sweet issued his verdict.

"I just don't think the city has met its burden of proof," Sweet said.

Stabler, 62, was driving north at 12:32 a.m. when officer Tyler Kane stopped him, according to testimony. Kane, who is now a state trooper, said he was by the side of the road making another stop when Stabler's vehicle passed within a few feet of him.

Kane said he stopped Stabler's vehicle.

"His speech was a little bit slurred and I could detect a strong odor of alcohol in the vehicle," Kane said.

He said Stabler refused to take a breath test. Sweet ruled that police did not observe Stabler for the entire time before the defendant was asked to take the test and would not allow the refusal to be entered as evidence.

Defense attorney Mark Polson said the acquittal will allow Stabler to move on.

"What a relief. Ken has just suffered through this whole episode and this will let him get on with the rest of his life," Polson told the Press-Register of Mobile.

Stabler played for Alabama from 1965-67 and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1968. He played for the Raiders, the Houston Oilers and the New Orleans Saints before retiring in 1984.

He has been a color analyst on Alabama football broadcast for 10 years but is taking a leave of absence this season.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press