St. Louis Football Player Accepts Plea Deal in Drunk Driving Case

At this point in the year, the football season may not be on the radar of many people in Missouri. Yet a St. Louis Rams player is likely wondering how the upcoming season will be impacted by the sentence he recently received for drunk driving charges. In April, we covered the arrest and trial of Trumaine Johnson, and he was recently sentenced.

Before being sentenced, Johnson apparently made the decision to plead guilty on lower charges in order to receive a lightened sentence. According to reports, the plea agreement provided that the drunk driving charges were dropped and were replaced by charges for reckless driving and refusing a breath test.

There is no word as to why prosecutors pulled the drunk driving charges off the table, but apparently Johnson performed well in field sobriety tests before his arrest. Furthermore, the football player maintains that he wasn’t over the legal limit at the time he was pulled over.

Even though it wasn’t proven that he was guilty, this case shows that criminal charges can result from refusing to take a Breathalyzer test. This is part of implied consent laws enforced in many states, which penalize breath-test refusals. Anyone pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving should understand what penalties may exist for failing to comply with police orders, even if he or she isn’t legally intoxicated.

As a result of the plea bargain, Johnson was ordered to spend 90 days in jail, which he will likely serve at a later time. In addition, he was ordered to pay fines and perform community service. Accepting the deal prevented Johnson from having driving while intoxicated charges on his record, but his reputation may still be affected by public perception.

Source: Associated Press, “Rams’ Trumaine Johnson receives plea deal in drunken driving case,” May 15, 2013

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