Back in the day the police used to call it a 502 – driving while intoxicated. I'm not sure, however, that the legal eagle who came up with that ever thought it would be used for a helicopter. As the saying goes, there's a first time for everything.
August Adolphus Busch IV, of the Anheuser-Busch beer family, spent the night at a local police station after he police suspected him of trying to fly his helicopter while appearing to be drunk. The former CEO of the family brewing company was with his wife Dawna and their eight dogs when the police stopped them in the parking lot of an office complex in the southwestern Illinois city of Swansea.
The helicopter landed in the parking lot of the office building around 1pm. Then, seven hours later, police were called with the report that a drunk man was attempting to take off in a helicopter. When the police arrived, Busch was in the pilot seat of the helicopter.
When the police arrived at the parking lot, Busch's helicopter's engine was on and the blades were rotating. He complied with the police's request to turn the helicopter off. They then did basic sobriety tests.
Officers on the scene described Busch's speech as rambling. He volunteered the information that he was carrying a weapon for which he had a concealed weapons permit. He did not tell the authorities where he had been since he landed the chopper earlier in the day. He also did not tell them where he, his wife, and their eight dogs were heading.
Police found three additional loaded weapons in the helicopter.
Busch's Breathalyzer test found that he had no alcohol in his system. The police sought a search warrant to take his blood, were granted it, and he passed that test as well.
Busch also had a cache of prescription pills on him. His wife told the authorities that Busch was supposed to be taking anxiety meds, but he had stopped so that the couple could do fertility treatments.
Busch was released Tuesday morning without charges.
In 1983, Busch was driving a car when it crashed and killed his female passenger. He had significant head injuries from that crash, but tested negative for alcohol and drugs at the time. In 2010, he was brought in for questioning after his 27-year-old girlfriend was found dead in his home. She overdosed on oxycodone and cocaine. Her family sued Busch for wrongful death. He repotedly settled that case in 2012 for $1.75 million.
Busch became CEO of the family brewing company in 2006. Two years later he sold the company that had been in his family for 156 years to InBev for $52 billion.