Traffic court for the City of New Orleans has confirmed to WGNO News that the trial for Benjamin Landrieu’s DUI charge has been postponed to September 12, 2013.
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A Tulane shuttle bus driver, who is paid to transport students from bars and other night venues, called police when she spotted a car driven by and later identified as Ben Landrieu crashing into other vehicles, according to a New Orleans Police report.
The report states the unidentified bus driver made the call after hearing loud noises and then observing “fire sparks” coming from the wheel of a black car that hit three other vehicles in the 8100-block of Zimple St. just after 1:30 am on July 17.
According to the document, the unnamed bus driver watched the 19-year-old Landrieu crunch up against three parked vehicles in his Nissan Maxima after a night of drinking beers at The Boot, a popular bar to Tulane students.
Landrieu would be confronted by NOPD officers who said he admitted to having about four or five beers before he was driven to University Hospital to be examined despite his suggestion that he needed no medical attention.
After being cleared medically and failing a field sobriety test Landrieu submitted a breath sample resulting in a .124% Blood Alcohol Content, according to the report.
The Louisiana legal limit is .02% for underage drivers.
The report stated that during the encounter with police Landrieu smelled of a “strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage” and was “off balance, had difficulty standing still and appeared in a lethargic state.”
The report also states Landrieu told officers he did not remember where he was coming from or where he was going and didn’t remember getting into an auto accident.
The report doesn’t mention Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who was said to have been at the scene of the arrest.
In the “interview” portion of the report, arresting officers indicated the younger Landrieu consumed four or five beers at The Boot, a popular bar to Tulane students.
The Boot says Landrieu was in the bar but wasn’t served any alcohol.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s son 19-year-old, Benjamin Landrieu, was arrested Tuesday morning for Driving While Intoxicated, Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, and Driving on Roadway Laned for Traffic (essentially, an improper lane change).
Police say Ben Landrieu was involved in an accident around 5 a.m. Tuesday morning near Zimple and Broadway. No injuries were reported.
In what can only be called cruel irony, Mayor Landrieu had already scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning to discuss nuisance bars around the city that allow underage drinking.
Just moments before that news conference began his son Ben was walking out of Orleans Parish central lockup after being booked for DWI.
The testy young Landrieu told reporters to “get the **** out of the way” and gave a one-fingered salute to our WGNO News cameras.
Before Mayor Landrieu was able to begin his planned news conference, he had to address the elephant in the room:
“I love my son very much. Unconditionally. But bad decisions have bad consequences, as I have said many, many times.
“There is no doubt that there will be legal consequences to the bad decisions that Ben made last night, and other family consequences as well.
“Beyond that, this is a personal matter. I would ask the public to respect his privacy as a 19-year-old.
“I have instructed everybody that works for the city, and the individuals that I spoke to, to follow proper protocol and follow proper procedure. I have every reason to believe that’s what happened last night and that will continue to happen as this matter winds its way through the legal process.”
The Mayor told WGNO News that he does not know where his son was before his arrest.
Attorney Troy Broussard, also known as the “DWI Doctor” says one of the challenges that come with defending an accused DWI offender in the public eye is that prosecutors and media will be watching to see if preferential treatment is given to that defendant.
“He didn’t help himself any by dropping f-bombs and shooting people the finger “, Broussard said.
Mayor Landrieu said there will be legal and family consequences for his son.
There were also consequences for David Kvachavze, who says his Nissan Titan was slammed into by Landrieu early this morning.
Kvachavze, who was asleep in his home when his truck was hit, said the NOPD didn’t confirm they had knowledge of the damage to his truck until after he told them he read of Landrieu’s arrest in the online reports.
As of five pm Tuesday, he was still waiting for NOPD paperwork.