Celebrity status doesn’t necessarily mean the police will turn a blind eye to alcohol-related driving violations. Without naming names, let’s take a look at a current DUI arrest involving a Major League Baseball player during spring training with a team.
Back in April, a retired 39-year-old former all-star outfielder was trying to revive his career with the Seattle Mariners when he was pulled over for expired registration and arrested for DUI on April 17. A recently released video of the encounter with a Scottsdale police officer shows the player was obviously wary of agreeing to a field sobriety test.
A Yahoo Sports article on the arrest takes a mocking tone, as if the player can be heard saying dumb things in the video. In reality, he sounds cautious when the Scottsdale police officer instructs him to remove his glasses off and follow a moving flashlight in the officer’s hand.
The officer then says he’s not trying to “mess with” the player’s career, but that drivers pulled over for suspected DUI are required to take a field sobriety test. To which the player calmly responded, “I’m not subjecting myself to a field sobriety test.”
After the officer tries to convince him to take the test, the player adds further, “I don’t know my rights without a lawyer here for me.” The officer again tries to convince him, but the player refused further, indicating he was not sure he trusts the policeman’s intentions, “A lot of people have gotten into a lot of trouble assuming that police officers have their best interests.”
That comment seems to have been the officer’s the final straw. He instructed the player to turn around and put his hands behind his back. Although it’s hard to see what’s going on in the video, you can hear the distinct sound of handcuffs locking.
While many would argue that the driver would have been better off to submit to the field sobriety test, there is little doubt that he was polite when firmly exercising his right to decline the test and insist on speaking to an attorney.
According to the article on the incident, the player’s lawyer negotiated a plea agreement that includes a diversion program, drug and alcohol screening and a suspension of his license. The deal is substantially better than the 10 consecutive days in jail that prosecutors typically insist on.
If you face a drunk driving charge, speak with an attorney who knows how to get charges dismissed or reduced so that you don’t have to endure the worst the law has to offer.