Tuscaloosa, AL- Crimson Tide linebacker Dillon Lee was arrested on DUI charges Thursday after his involvement in a minor traffic accident.
Tuscaloosa police were called to the scene of a minor accident on 31st Street at approximately 2 a.m. because one of the parties was allegedly drunk. According to local Fox affiliate WBRC, police “found cause to charge Lee with driving under the influence.” No one was injured.
Police did not provide any other details of Lee’s arrest.
Lee, who is vying to for a starting position in the 2014 season, was taken to the Tuscaloosa County jail where he was held until he sobered up and paid a $1,000 fine.
“I don’t have all of the details at this point and will handle it appropriately once I’ve had a chance to review all of the information,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said in a statement released by Alabama media relations.
According to AL.com, Lee is this second Crimson Tide player to be arrested this spring and the third for the year. Cornerback Tony Brown was arrested for failure to obey and resisting arrest for which he received youthful offender treatment. Altee Tenpenny, running back for Crimson Tide had his marijuana possession charges dropped as long as he keeps his nose clean.
A DUI arrest has an effect on anyone, but the impact can be greater on a college athlete who is on the verge of having a promising career. When a college athlete is convicted of a DUI, they face suspension and in some cases could be kicked off the team. This also means that they could lose their scholarship, and if they are unable to secure other means to pay their tuition, they may no longer be able to attend the college of their choice.
A DUI conviction for a college athlete will also reflect badly on the school, the team as a whole and the coach.
College athletes, and anyone for that matter, can beat a DUI charge with an effective defense strategy, but this requires the experience of a DUI attorney. One of the most effective defense strategies typically employed by attorneys is challenging the prosecution’s proof of intoxication.
Typically proof of alcohol intoxication is obtained with a Breathalyzer which tests the amount of alcohol in the breath deep within the lungs. This test can pick up alcohol in the mouth and throat and read it as breath in the lungs. This can give a false reading, indicting a drivers is above the legal limit even when they aren’t even intoxicated. Something like and common liquid cold medicine will register as intoxication on a breathalyzer.
Breathalyzers can also give inaccurate readings if they are not regularly maintained. They require frequent recalibration which can be overlooked by a busy police force. In some cases, breathalyzers are not maintained or can easily malfunction.
A DUI attorney can also challenge the results from a field sobriety test since their extenuating circumstances such as a medical condition can affect how poorly a person performs on these tests.