Phoenix Suns Forward Charged with Driving Under Extreme Influence
Posted on August 5, 2014
Written by Tracy Manzer
DUI charges are common, but that doesn’t lessen the impact they have on people’s personal lives and professional careers.
Take, for example, the announcement made Monday by Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker. Tucker, who was charged earlier this year with driving under the influence with a blood alcohol limit (BAC) of 0.20 or greater, was sentenced to three days in jail and 11 days of home detention as part of a negotiated plea agreement. Tucker was stopped by an officer for an alleged traffic violation in Arizona last May, but cited for DUI. His BAC measured .222, according to media reports.
Though the sentence may seem extreme to some, Tucker’s attorneys were able to negotiate better terms in exchange for his guilty plea. He had faced the possibility of 45 days in jail. Presumably his willingness to install an ignition interlock device in his car for 18 months helped his attorneys achieve the reduced jail term. In addition, Tucker must undergo substance abuse counseling, pay $2,700 in court fines, and will be placed on probation for five years.
Tucker also released a prepared statement, in which he apologized to his fans and expressed his sincere gratitude for his many supporters.
The statement reads as follows:
I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Phoenix for their love and support during my time as a Phoenix Sun. Thank you to the Phoenix Suns organization for supporting me throughout this difficult time. And, of course my wife Tracey, family and friends, who just keep loving me. I cannot express how much I appreciate and value the many blessings that I have been given – love and abundance that I never imagined. I am truly blessed. I am so grateful that no one was hurt as a result of my choice to drive impaired.
I am truly sorry and I take full responsibility for my actions. No excuses. It is now my responsibility to examine my life and make the changes necessary to ensure this never happens again. That process has begun and will continue with the love and support of my family, friends and, of course, the amazing Phoenix Suns.
There is both a lesson and an opportunity in this experience: I learned the lesson the hard way – the opportunity is to ensure others don’t.
The good that resulted from making this mistake is realizing people’s capacity to forgive. Thank you all so much for the love and forgiveness that I have received throughout this time.
I will not let you down. Thank you.
The statement highlights several crucial decisions made on Tucker’s part, likely with the help of his DUI defense team, and that likely factored into the court’s decision to opt for a more lenient sentence. Chief among those decisions was Tucker taking full responsibility for his actions and taking action to address the issues that led to his driving drunk to begin with.
As a Maryland criminal defense firm dedicated to DUI defense, we see countless people who become ensnared in the criminal justice system due to a momentary lapse in judgment or, in more serious cases, the profound physical and emotional illness that drives alcoholism and drug addiction. Many of those who are rightfully charged with DUI would be well-served in taking responsibility for their actions. We as a society should respond by recognizing that the forces at work in many of these cases go far beyond a careless decision to drive home after having a couple of beers. Through measured and reasonable response we are more likely to address the roots of these issues and that is more likely to result in successful outcomes of cases, and safer roads, which benefit us all.