Oakland Raiders: Possible Consequences for WR Darrius Heyward-Bey After Pleading No Contest to DUI Charge
Stuart Kovacs – Jul 23, 2012
While appearing in a San Francisco Superior Court on Monday, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey pleaded no contest to his misdemeanor drunken driving charge, according to Vivian Ho of the San Francisco Gate Chronicle.
The first-round selection of the Raiders in the 2009 NFL Draft received three years probation, drug and alcohol counseling, and over $1,800 in court fees stemming from his April 7 arrest.
Heyward-Bey pleaded no contest, which is essentially the same as a guilty plea, in order to put the case behind him. In doing so, the charge of driving with a blood alcohol content of higher than .08 percent was dropped.
While the former Maryland Terrapin avoided jail time and any substantial punishment, Heyward-Bey must now face NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his quick trigger in fining and suspending players.
The chances of the Raiders’ wide receiver being suspended for any amount of time in the 2012 NFL season are almost slim to none.
Over his tenure, Roger Goodell has only suspended one player for DUI. That player was Donte Stallworth who was suspended the entire 2009 season. However, in addition to the DUI, Stallworth was also charged with manslaughter which was the chief reason for the suspension.
With a suspension for Heyward-Bey nearly out of the question, the intrigue now is if the wide receiver will be fined.
With the abundance of the DUI arrests during Goodell’s tenure as commissioner, there have only been two substantial fines.
In 2010, Cincinnati Bengals’ linebacker Rey Maualuga was fined two game checks by the NFL. However, he also hit a parking meter and two parked cars.
In 2007, Seattle Seahawks’ tight end Jeremy Stevens was fined $3,160 by the NFL. However, he also was in possession of marijuana and had a blood alcohol content of .204 percent.
With no other history of Goodell fining players for DUI cases, the last possible obstacle that Heyward-Bey must avoid is the potential of the commissioner wanting to set a precedent.
Seven NFL players have been arrested on DUI related charges since Heyward-Bey was arrested on April 7. Four of those have come since June 2.
It is clearly becoming more of an issue as a multitude of players are being caught drinking and driving. Goodell could easily use these players as an example for the rest of the league to see.
This is clearly just speculation as there are no facts or statistics backing up this notion.
The entire Raider Nation will just have to wait and see while a possible punishment is considered.
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