Chicago Bears fans may be aware of wide receiver Justin Blackmon and his problems with substance abuse. He has been through at least two programs and has been suspended from the NFL since 2013. In December 2015, he was detained and charged with misdemeanor DUI. After an officer stopped him because of a brake light problem, he struggled with a field sobriety test and failed an initial breath test. He refused a Breathalyzer.
Blackmon had his first brush with a DUI in 2010 while he was in college, although he was able to have that charge reduced to underage alcohol possession. In May 2012, just a few weeks after he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he was taken into custody after he reportedly had a blood alcohol content well over the legal limit. After that, he went into the NFL’s substance abuse program. He was also suspended for several weeks for failing a drug test and was later suspended indefinitely. A 2014 charge for marijuana possession was reduced to disorderly conduct.
He is still on the team, but the Jaguars are not required to pay his salary. Furthermore, the team’s general manager says he has been away for so long that it is unlikely that he will play again in the NFL.
Drunk driving charges can have serious repercussions that go beyond legal ones. As this case demonstrates, a person’s career can be affected. A person who is facing DUI charges may want to work with an attorney so that a strategy to combat the charges can be constructed. If it is a first offense, it might be possible to get the charges reduced. In other situations, an attorney can choose to challenge the validity of the traffic stop as being conducted without probable cause.
Source: ESPN, “Justin Blackmon pleads guilty to misdemeanor DUI,” April 28, 2016