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NFL likely to ban star player after DUI plea

The National Football League is likely to hand standout wide receiver Michael Floyd a lengthy ban following his sentencing on drunk driving charges on Feb. 16. New York football fans probably read that the New England Patriot and former Arizona Cardinal admitted to driving with a blood alcohol level of .217 percent on Dec. 12. What may not be widely known is that this level of intoxication is considered an aggravating factor under the NFL's unyielding substance-abuse policy.

NFL players face a mandatory two-game suspension when they are convicted of driving while under the influence, but this can be lengthened considerably if the player concerned was involved in an accident that caused significant property damage or serious injury or death. Players may also face longer bans if their blood alcohol level at the time of the incident concerned was higher than .15 percent or if they have a prior history of drug or alcohol problems.

While Floyd did not crash on the night in question, he could face a longer ban due to his blood alcohol level and the three alcohol-related incidents he was involved in while playing college football at Notre Dame. In addition to any punishment handed down by the NFL, the wide receiver will spend 24 days in jail followed by home confinement lasting 96 days following his plea of guilty to an extreme DUI charge. He will also pay a fine of more than $5,000 and perform community service for 30 hours.

The criminal penalties for drunk driving can be severe, but the damage to reputations or careers can be even more consequential and long-lasting. When the defendants in DWI cases could lose their ability to earn a paycheck, experienced criminal defense attorneys may point this out to prosecutors as they urge them to show leniency during plea talks.

Source: The National Football League, Patriots WR Michael Floyd pleads guilty to DUI, sentenced to jail, Kevin Patra, Feb. 17, 2017

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