The National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) are currently negotiating several changes to the league's policy, including stronger penalties for players who commit DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) offenses.
Currently, players are required to forego two game checks after a first DUI offense. If the proposed change is passed, players would face a one-game suspension and one game check. With steeper penalties imposed by the NFL, the league hopes that players will be discouraged from drinking and driving. The league has also stressed the importance of educating players on the dangers of drunk driving to prevent such conduct.
The NFL's focus on DUI prevention is ongoing, due to the number of player arrests in current years. According to a U-T San Diego website containing information on NFL arrests, 10 players were booked on DUI-related charges in 2013. 17 players were arrested for DUI offenses in 2012. A 2012 USA Today poll revealed that approximately 28% of player arrests since 2000 were for DUI-related offenses. These arrests ranged from standard DUI charges to DUI accidents and even a case against a now-retired defensive lineman who is facing an intoxication manslaughter charge following an accident that claimed the life of a teammate last December.
In 2013, the league partnered up with Uber, a car service company, to provide players with transportation that would offer them a convenient way of avoiding drunk driving. In spite of this and current DUI penalties enforced by the NFL, players continued to garner media attention for DUI arrests. The league hopes that enhanced penalties will be more effective in deterring drunk driving.
NFL players, like other drivers, may also face other serious penalties if they are arrested for and convicted of DUI-related offenses. In California, for example, a driver may have his or her license suspended following a DUI arrest, even if the driver is not subsequently convicted of DUI in court. This can occur if a driver does not contest his or her license suspension through a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). DMV and criminal court proceedings are entirely separate from one another. A driver will have only 10 days to challenge his or her license suspension.
Additional criminal penalties for DUI in California may include jail time, fines, court fees, court-ordered drug or alcohol treatment, community service and probation. If a driver is accused of DUI causing injury or vehicular manslaughter, penalties may increase to years in state prison and higher fines.
No matter your profession, a DUI arrest and charge may taint your reputation, impact personal and professional relationships and bring about harsh penalties. It is important to work with an attorney who understands local DUI laws and can fight your charges. At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, we are proud to offer experienced and aggressive defense counsel in the face of all drunk driving-related charges in Southern California. To discuss your case and how we can help you, please call an Orange County DUI lawyer at our firm.