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Georgia Football Player Charged with DUI


Many college students are arrested on suspicion of DUI in Georgia. Unfortunately, when the suspect is a college football player for the University of Georgia Bulldogs, the arrest tends to garner national media attention. And it can lead to serious consequences for the person charged outside of the criminal justice system.

Coach Smart Backed Player Following Arrest as “Great Kid, Great Person”

On March 24, 2024, police in Athens, Georgia, arrested a 20-year old man on suspicion of DUI. The suspect was a recent transfer to the University of Georgia from the University of Florida. He came to Georgia to play running back for the Bulldogs.

According to law enforcement records obtained by ESPN, the suspect “was traveling 80 to 90 mph in a 50-mph zone at approximately 1:50 a.m.” and “crossed over a double yellow line to pass vehicles.” When pulled over by police for violating traffic laws, the suspect admitted to police that he was going home after “drinking three beers way earlier” in the evening. The suspect declined a field sobriety test, but the officer at the scene observed the suspect had “slurred speech, glossy eyes and was swaying back and forth while standing on flat ground.”

The suspect faces charges of DUI, less safe, reckless driving, and failing to maintain his lane. It is important to note that a “less safe” DUI charge means a person can still be convicted of drunk driving even if their blood-alcohol content (BAC) did not exceed the legal threshold of 0.08 percent. Indeed, as the suspect is under the age of 21, he may be convicted of DUI in Georgia if his BAC was as low as 0.02 percent.

ESPN noted that depending on the disposition of his criminal case, the suspect also faces disciplinary action from the University of Georgia. UGA’s athletic department requires a player to miss 10 percent of his team’s season following a DUI conviction. This would equate to a one-game suspension for the 2024 season.

Georgia’s head football coach, Kirby Smart, told reporters that the suspect was a “great kid, great person,” and that “he’s not going to let this mistake define him.” Smart added that Georgia’s players were “continually counseled on the dangers of driving recklessly and/or impaired.”

Contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers Today

For any college student, a DUI arrest can lead to suspension or probation from their school, depending on its specific policies and procedures. So if you find yourself in this position, it is important to take the matter seriously. You cannot blow off a DUI arrest as a minor or insignificant accusation. You must treat it as the criminal case that it is.

Among other things, this means not answering any police questions outside the presence of a lawyer. The suspect in the Georgia DUI case discussed above admitted to police that he had been drinking–which was itself illegal as he was under 21. Such an admission is often enough to justify a DUI arrest.

If you find yourself in a similar position, do not hesitate to speak with a Georgia Board-certified DUI defense lawyer. Contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Georgia including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.



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