Why No Breathalizer for Billy Joel?

Does anyone have the scoop on why the police did not give Billy Joel a breathalizer test after running into a tree? Are stars above the law? Did they at least bother to look in his eyes, or just ask for a few autographs instead? - Jinx

Do you think they give Breathalizers to everyone who’s been in an accident? I assume the officers decide if they think one is required through examining the scene and talking with the driver. I assume they must have a reason for administering a test like that.

What reason do you believe they didn’t treat him like anyone else?

Only the most irresponsible police officer would attempt to breathalyse a driver who had crashed into a tree and needed cutting out of the wreckage. Joel could easily have suffered spinal injuries that forcibly administering a breath test could have aggravated. Medical attention was obviously the priority.

In any case, the hospital tested a blood sample which showed him not to be under the influence.

There’s no evidence to suggest that he was treated any differently to anyone else, except in that he probably went to a more expensive hospital.

Even that’s not likely. In Sag Harbor, there isn’t much choice.

Someone posted part of an article to the Billy Joel mailing list that said the officers had no reason to suspect that alcohol was involved. I imagine this means he did not have booze on his breath, was not slurring his words, was coherent, etc.

I didn’t hear that he had to be cut out of the car. Nonetheless, at the hospital, they could have run a bloodtest while treating his wounds. In all my years, I haven’t seen a tree jump out in front of the car…I think they should have tested him, if possible. - Jinx

He didn’t.

Take a look at this article from The East Hampton Star from January 30, 2003: http://www.easthamptonstar.com/20030130/news5.htm

Just to follow up:

The Smoking Gun now has a copy of the accident report available online at http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/billyjoel1.html.

Apparently, when Billy Joel was interviewed the day after the accident he told the police that “he could only remember being in the American Hotel where he [Joel] had a glass of champagne.”

Joel also told the detective that he was on medication following a recent surgery and an anonymous witness claims to have seen Joel drinking wine with his dinner prior to the accident.

To answer the other question in the OP: Yes, stars are above law. Its not right, but its the way it is.

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