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Controller Tells His Side of Story

August 20, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An air traffic controller accused of drunken driving en route to work said he was proud of his six error-free years on the job and denied he had resisted arrest.

″I’m concerned about the safety of the flying public,″ said George Richard Stevens of Canyon Country. ″That’s my job. I’d never intentionally try to harm anybody.″

Stevens, 31, who already was on probation for a drunken-driving conviction in October, was arrested Sunday while on his way to Los Angeles International Airport.

He was given a field sobriety test but refused to submit to a blood alcohol test, said California Highway Patrol Sgt. John Bailey. He resisted arrest when he refused to be handcuffed, the sergeant said.

The controller said Wednesday he has not decided how to plead to the misdemeanor charges, and denied he had resisted arrest. Stevens said that he had only told the patrolman the handcuffs were too tight.

He was released from the Santa Clarita sheriff’s station on his own recognizance, Bailey said.

If convicted, he could receive 48 hours in jail and an additional 30 days for the prior conviction, Baker said. Additionally, he could be jailed 96 hours and have his license revoked for two years for refusing to take a blood alcohol test.

Stevens is to be arraigned Sept. 17.

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