As a followup to the post I had written on July 12 concerning WR Darrius Heyward-Bey’s future trial (which was held today), the San Francisco Chronicle released an article just over an hour ago regarding the outcome. Instead of the original plea DHB had put in of not guilty, he has now plead no contest to the misdemeanor drunk driving charge that took place in the early morning on April 7. DHB had been pulled over in a routine traffic stop for speeding and “weaving” on the Bay Bridge before failing a field sobriety test, blowing a 0.12 and 0.13.
Heyward-Bey is now sentenced to three years on probation and will also have to attend court mandated drug and alcohol counselling. Ivan Golde, Heyward-Bey’s attorney, had this to say regarding the change in plea as per the San Francisco Chronicle:
“He pleaded no contest as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, who dropped a charge of driving with a blood alcohol content higher than the legal .08 limit.” Also that, “His (Heyward-Bey’s) main focus is football and the Raiders and that’s why we didn’t go any further with it.”
As per the league’s substance abuse policy, DHB could also face a fine of up to $50,000, which right now is just speculation as nothing has been confirmed. When it comes to how many games he will miss at the beginning of the 2012 season, Goodell has yet to comment and it is too soon to bring down the hammer on any kind of suspension. In my opinion, since there have been so many (let me reiterate, TOO many!) DUI and suspicion of DUI arrests in the NFL this offseason, it would be fair to see minimum one-game suspensions handed down.
If this is the case with DHB, even if he is a first-time offender, we may see some rookie wideouts sooner than we expected in September.