Justin Blackmon, who has been suspended from the Jacksonville Jaguars since 2013, will be sentenced in June after pleading guilty to misdemeanor DUI charges from an incident in December. Florida football fans may now that it is the third time he has been charged in an alcohol-related incident.
Police in Oklahoma say they stopped him because there was a problem with his brake light, but when they smelled alcohol, he and his passenger both said that they had been drinking. Although Blackmon said he had only had two drinks, his speech was reportedly slurred. He performed poorly on field sobriety tests and failed a preliminary breath test. After being taken into custody, he refused a Breathalyzer test.
Blackmon’s two previous alcohol-related charges occurred in 2010 and 2012. The first was a misdemeanor DUI charge that was reduced to a lesser offense. In the second, reports said that his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit. Blackmon was also taken into custody in 2014 when police said they smelled marijuana in his car after stopping him for a traffic violation. That charge, for misdemeanor marijuana possession, was reduced to disorderly conduct. Blackmon’s brushes with the law along with violating NFL substance abuse policy led to his indefinite suspension from the Jaguars.
As this case demonstrates, DUI charges can have career as well as legal repercussions, and refusing a breath test will likely result in an automatic driver’s license suspension. However, a person who is facing charges like these still has some options and may want to discuss them with an attorney. Possible defense strategies could include a challenge to the constitutionality of the initial traffic stop.
Source: ESPN, “Justin Blackmon pleads guilty to misdemeanor DUI,” April 28, 2016