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DUI against former FAA head is dropped

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FAIRFAX, Va., May 10 (UPI) -- A Judge in Fairfax, Va., Thursday dismissed the drunken driving case that had led J. Randolph Babbitt to resign as head of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Babbitt, who had been head of the FAA since 2009, resigned in December after he was arrested in Fairfax.

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Fairfax City General District Court Judge Ian O'Flaherty dismissed the case after viewing a video of the traffic stop in which Babbitt was arrested and finding that a Fairfax City police officer had pulled Babbitt over on a "mere hunch," The Washington Post reported.

The video showed Babbitt crossing a double-yellow line while making a left turn, but does not show him driving on the wrong side of the road, as Fairfax City Officer Mike Morris had written in his report, the newspaper said.

Babbitt's lawyer, Peter Greenspun, had argued an initial sobriety test indicated Babbitt's blood-alcohol level was 0.07, below Virginia's legal limit of 0.08. A prosecutor said subsequent tests would show Babbitt was above the limit, but the judge threw the case out before those test results were admitted.

Babbitt served previously as chairman of the FAA Management Advisory Council, was an Eastern Airlines pilot for 25 years and was president of the Air Line Pilots Association. He also was a partner at the management consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

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He said Thursday he harbored no ill will against Morris for the arrest, the Post reported.

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