On Friday (Sep. 11) Aldon Smith, the former San Francisco 49ers linebacker was charged with three misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence in connection to a hit-and-run incident that occurred in Santa Clara in August.
According to the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office, Smith is facing one count each of DUI with a prior conviction, vandalism, and hit and run. The football player is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 6.
Smith’s charges came on the same day that the Oakland Raiders announced that they had signed him. After Smith’s Aug. 6 arrest, he became a free agent when the 49ers released him.
In the Oakland Raiders’ announcement on Friday, General Manager Reggie McKenzie said they are confident that the Raiders will provide an environment where Aldon can thrive.
Smith was drinking when he parked his SUV, said Santa Clara Police Lt. Kurt Clarke. When Smith exited the vehicle, his door swung open and struck another car, causing about $500 in damage, said Clarke. Smith later left the scene.
The police were called to the neighborhood shortly before 9:00 p.m., and Smith returned around the same time as the deputies. The officers believed that Smith had been drinking and gave him a sobriety test, said Clarke. Smith was arrested after failing the test.
Smith Says ‘No’ to Chemical Test
According to the district attorney’s office, Smith refused to submit to a chemical test.
The following day, Smith was released from custody. Standing outside the jail, he denied being under the influence and apologized for the incident.
Smith told KTVU, a Bay Area TV station that he wanted everybody to understand that it wasn’t a DUI, that the situation could have been handled differently. He apologized to everyone he let down and for how it all played out.
Later that day, the 49ers released Smith.
In a statement, the 49ers said that the organization tried very hard to help Aldon fight his issues. They said that though he is no longer a member of their team, they will continue supporting him.
Since 2012, Smith has had several run-ins with the law starting with a DUI arrest in Miami Beach, which he accepted a deal for a lesser charge. In September 2013, he was arrested again for DUI, but that time it was in San Jose.
In that case, his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was twice the legal limit when he crashed into a tree. In 2014, he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of DUI for the San Jose incident and to three felony weapons charges stemming from a party arrest that took place at his home.
Last season, Smith was suspended for nine games due to his violation of the league’s policies on substance abuse and personal conduct.
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