Getting arrested and charged with drunk driving carries with it oftentimes incredibly steep consequences. From license suspensions to time in jail, even first-time offenders can find themselves facing life-changing penalties for what might have been a simple mistake. But although some people here in Florida might think that their life is over because of a DUI charge, an offer of a lighter sentence might be the chance a person needs in order to redeem themselves and pass on an important lesson to other people as well.
This is the chance that was offered to the Minnesota Vikings' wide receiver Jerome Simpson this month when he faced drunk driving charges recently in court. According to police records, an officer had approached the 27-year-old whose vehicle had become disabled and was blocking traffic. The officer claims that the NFL player appeared intoxicated and failed three sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test. According to police, when the 27-year-old was taken into custody, he refused to take a breath test.
Just like here in Florida, Minnesota has a blood-alcohol limit of .08. According to police, Simpson's preliminary breath test was .095, which might have registered lower later on when he would have been tested at the police station. It's because of this argument and other factors in the case that the football player was able to strike a deal with state prosecutors. Although he has pleaded guilty to refusing to submit to chemical testing and was charged with careless driving, a plea deal was arranged that will allow him to give back to the community. He was sentenced to 120 hours lecturing public school students about making good choices when it comes to the risks of drinking alcohol.
It's a deal that both prosecutors and Simpson's lawyer said was a way to hold the 27-year-old accountable for his actions while giving him a chance to be a real role model for children everywhere.
Source: The Twin Cities Pioneer Press, "Vikings' Jerome Simpson admits refusing DWI test, careless driving," David Hanners, Jan. 2, 2014