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Does the NFL Have a DUI Problem?


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7/23/2012
James W Harwood
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According to a colomn by Michael Schottey published on bleacherreport.com, the NFL should institute harsh new policies to prevent players from driving while under the influence of alcohol.  This is based on recent high profile arrests of NFL athletes, such as Marshawn Lynch and Kenny Britt for DUI.  Mr. Schottey first suggests that any player arrested for DUI be suspended to the remainder of the season.  This ignores the fact that anyone accused of a criminal offense, including famous athletes, is presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

 

Mr. Schottey then suggests NFL athletes should put ignition interlock devices in their cars to prevent them from starting their cars if they have consumed alcohol.  He suggests that this could be voluntary at first, but implies that teams should make IID installation a part of a player's contract.  Can you imagine the outrage you would see if other large employers started requiring IIDs for all employees at all times, regardless of whether those employees have ever been convicted of DUI?  Many would consider that a violation of privacy.  Also, IIDs lock you out of your car if any alcohol is detected.  It is perfectly legal in all 50 states to drive a car after one or two drinks, as long as you are not intoxicated. 

 

Mr. Schottey does offer one constructive suggestion.  He recommends that the NFL program, where an inebriated player can get a ride and a tow home, should be free for players.  Currently, it costs players about $80.  Although most NFL players can clearly afford $80 for a ride and a tow, taking away that slight barrier to a safe ride home should be encouraged. 

 



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