“By his own admission, Hazelwood drank “two or three vodkas” between 4:30 and 6:30 that same night, (16:30 and 18:30 unless I am mistaken) his blood alcohol content was found to be .061. However, the defense argued that the blood samples were taken nearly ten hours after the incident and were mishandled.”
The incident happened March 24, 1989, 12:04 am (00:04 in the rest of the world). The blood samples were then taken at 10:04 and came out at 0.061 but mishandled. Well that was incompetent.
Now all my medical associates tell me that when asked a question of alcohol consumption by a patient, they multiply it by three for a normal drinker, six for an alcohol abuser. This is the the first time in history that they have been proved them wrong. They are devastated.
“Hazelwood’s driver’s license had been suspended or revoked three times by the state of New York for alcohol violations since 1984. At the time of the Exxon Valdez incident, his New York state driving privileges were suspended as a result of a driving under the influence arrest on September 13, 1988. He entered a rehabilitation program in 1985 at South Oaks Hospital in Amityville, New York. Following rehabilitation he received 90 days of leave to attend Alcoholics Anonymous.”
The success of this course and the horrors of Amityville cannot be underestimated, for three years, he found the way and I can only admire him for that until his third conviction. His 90 days leave must also have been beneficial. And of course we know that he was unlucky to be caught on the rare occasions that he was in violation of the law. On March 24, 1989, 12:04 am he was absolutely sober, in his cabin and at peace with his bridge management.
In my local bar I talk to many similar that I would not let have charge of a wheelbarrow let alone a supertanker. Billy Joel sings it right.
I have pulled too many out of the sea, some living, some dead on account of alcohol. The two do not mix and when lawyers disrupt Darwin they do us, the true mariners, a great disservice.
I am certain that Captain Hazelwood is a lovely guy and great to have a beer with but, personally, I would not want to sail under him.