I’ve spoken before about how DUI charges can be especially challenging for those well-known members of a community. One University of Michigan football player is finding this out the hard way for himself. He has been suspended indefinitely from the team in the wake of DUI charges filed against him by authorities.
The young college player allegedly failed to stop at a red light and was pulled over by a police officer. A Breathalyzer test revealed that his blood-alcohol content was above Michigan’s legal limit for driving. Police reportedly kept the young man at the jail until he sobered up, at which time they sent him on his way. Unfortunately, he now faces not just DUI charges, but public scrutiny as well.
A Michigan coach issued a statement about the player’s alleged mistake. He said that the player was suspended for failing to uphold the university’s high standards of conduct for student athletes. The coach said he is using this as a teaching moment for both the accused football player and others in the community as well.
Of course, while it is admirable that the University wants to send a clear message that they will not tolerate student athletes engaging in behavior such as drunken driving, community members should remember that this player is not guilty merely because he has been accused of a DUI offense. The player is entitled to mount a defense against the charges he is facing. Not everyone who is accused of DUI is guilty, which is why people shouldn’t rush to conclusions before all the facts are revealed at trial.
Source: USA Today, “Michigan suspends Fitzgerald Toussaint after DUI charge,” Mark Snyder, July 23, 2012