Not long ago, St. Louis Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol after refusing a breath test. Johnson’s case has moved forward and he recently entered a not guilty plea in court.
Although Johnson wasn’t arrested in Missouri, he still faces steep consequences if he’s convicted. In addition to a potential six-month term in jail, he could pay a $1000 fine for the first-time DUI charges and pay a local $500 for refusing to take the breath test. This shows how penalties for drunk driving can differ from state to state — even city to city.
During the pre-trial hearing, which is scheduled for April 30, the prosecution will present what evidence they have, usually including breath or blood test results. Even though Johnson reportedly refused to take a breath test when he was pulled over, most states have an implied consent law. Missouri enforces this statute, which requires drivers to submit to a breath or blood test if they are asked to do so. Failure to comply could automatically result in charges and conviction.
Reports don’t indicate exactly why Johnson made the decision to plead not guilty, but his defense team may be able to challenge the evidence provided by prosecutors or the grounds on which he was suspected of DWI.
For a public figure like Johnson, facing criminal charges can be devastating. Not only may criminal penalties be in place, but his team’s management could impose a punishment and he could lose esteem among fans. As such, it will likely be in his best interests to explore and pursue the best available legal options.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Rams’ Johnson scheduled for hearing on DUI charge,” Jim Thomas, April 5, 2013
- Our firm has experience handling first-time drunk driving cases. To learn more, please see our St. Louis DWI page.