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No intoxicants in August Busch IV’s blood in chopper inquiry

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tests show that former Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV had no drugs or alcohol in his system in July when police said he appeared “intoxicated” as he prepared to take off in a helicopter from a suburban St. Louis office park.

The findings released by the Illinois State Police’s forensic services laboratory in Springfield are based on tests done on two samples of Busch’s blood, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly issued a statement Wednesday in which she confirmed the test results. Prosecutors are reviewing whether to proceed with charges.

Busch’s longtime attorney, Maurice B. Graham, said in a statement: “Mr. Busch has always taken flying very seriously, and he is not surprised by these results.”

Busch was arrested July 10 on suspicion of reckless conduct, unlawful use of a weapon and being intoxicated in or about an aircraft. Concerns arose that day after a helicopter landed close to buildings in an office park in the suburb of Swansea, Illinois. No injuries were reported, and Busch was gone when officers arrived. He returned almost eight hours later, but police said he failed field sobriety tests and wouldn’t let him take off. Court documents said Busch seemed intoxicated and that he was “rambling” in “very mumbled and slurred” speech.

Several types of prescription drugs were found in his pockets and in the helicopter, some prescribed to Busch and others to the woman who was with him. According to the documents, the woman told officers that Busch takes prescription drugs for anxiety, but she said he had not been taking them recently because he was undergoing medical procedures that required him to abstain from them.

At one point while talking to police, Busch began jumping around and running sprints, telling police he needed to get more oxygen to cope with an anxiety attack.

While being questioned, Busch told Swansea officers he has a Missouri concealed carry permit and had a loaded gun in his pocket. Busch gave police permission to search the helicopter, where they found three more loaded handguns and a pepper spray gun, court documents say.

Busch, who has a commercial pilot’s license, spent the night in custody before being released. He was Anheuser-Busch CEO from 2006 until it was bought out by InBev in in 2008. He is the great-great-grandson of Adolphus Busch, the founder of Anheuser-Busch.

Busch was in college in 1983 when he was involved in a car crash in Arizona that killed a 22-year-old woman. He was not criminally charged.

In 2010, his girlfriend, Adrienne Martin, 27, died of an accidental drug overdose at his estate in the posh St. Louis County town of Huntleigh. He paid $1.75 million in 2012 to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit.


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