Wednesday, 17. July 2013
Former player and current NBA head coach Jason Kidd pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a charge of misdemeanor drunken driving for his role in a traffic accident that occurred after a night of drinking.
Kidd was placed on interim probation for the violation, and he’ll be required to speak to area high school students about the dangers of drinking and driving. If he successfully completes his community service, the charge will be reduced to a driving while ability impaired violation.
For his actions, Kidd could have received three years of probation, but both sides opted to use the mistake as a chance to educate local teens on the dangers of drinking and driving.
“He’s a role model to kids and other people. And he’s going to have the opportunity to talk to them about the foolish mistake that he made and the fact he took responsibility for his actions,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. “That is, for me, more important than three years’ probation.”
The Night in Question
On July 15, 2012, Kidd attended a charity event in East Hampton, NY. Kidd was reportedly visibly intoxicated when he got into his Cadillac SUV at the end of the night. He drove 10 miles before crashing his SUV into a telephone pole in the community of Water Mill.
When officers arrived on the scene, they noticed that Kidd was unsteady on his feet, smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes. When asked how many drinks he had that night, Kidd said, “a couple, of drinks, three or four.” He was taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries.
Town Court Judge Andrea Schiavoni said the crash could have been much more devastating.
“You could have killed yourself. You could have killed someone else,” said Schiavoni. “I hope you wake up every day happy to be here.”
Others, like the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving, felt that Kidd’s sentence was too lenient. MADD wanted Kidd to be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device on his vehicle, and they asked for all states to consider stricter IID laws.
“MADD urges every state to demonstrate that they take drunk driving seriously by passing all-offender ignition interlock laws and prosecuting drunk driving to the full extent of the law.”
Related source: ESPN, TMZ