Former NBA basketball player and current coach of the Brooklyn Nets Jason Kidd pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge stemming from a 2012 car accident. In that accident, Kidd was driving an SUV in New York when the vehicle left the road and struck a utility pole, pushing the pole and the car into several trees. When officers arrived, they suspected Kidd was under the influence of alcohol and asked Kidd to take a breathalyzer or blood test, but Kidd reportedly refused.
Kidd reportedly did admit that he was on his way home from a club where he enjoyed a few drinks. The responding officer noted that Kidd smelled strongly of alcohol and that his eyes were bloodshot and watery. When Kidd spoke, he reportedly slurred his words.
In court on Tuesday, Kidd pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to driving while intoxicated. With the plea, his crime can be reduced to a violation of driving while impaired, a lesser offense under New York law, if Kidd completes mandatory community service.
When celebrities get caught after drinking and driving, it can remind everyone just how dangerous the activity is. Here, fortunately, there were no other vehicles involved in the accident and no one was hurt. Often that is not the case. In many drunk driving cases, an accident occurs and people are injured or killed. These victims may be the drunk driver but are often passengers in the drunk driver’s car, other drivers on the road, or even pedestrians.
Studies have repeatedly shown that a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs is much more dangerous than a sober driver. A drunk driver has slower reaction time and diminished ability to make critical decisions while driving. Yet despite these facts, thousands across Illinois continue to drive drunk every year.
The penalties for drunk driving can be severe. Depending on prior citations and the injuries that result from an accident, a drunk driver may lose her license, be subject to court ordered fines, undergo required rehabilitation, be incarcerated in jail or in prison, or even worse. Not only are traffic and criminal penalties possible, but drunk drivers may also be held liable for the civil damages they cause.
When one person harms another, the at-fault person may be held liable for damages in a civil claim. This is different from a criminal charge where the guilty person is being held liable to society as a whole. In a civil claim, a victim of a drunk driving accident may be able to financially recover for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you have been hurt in an automobile collision, call the Chicago drunk driving injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free consultation. For your convenience, we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (312) 924-7575 to take your call, so please call us now and let us help you along the path to recovery.
Prior Blog Entries:
Attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. Reach $1.475 Million Settlement in Construction Work Accident, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published July 16, 2013.
Fleeing Suspect Causes 4 Car Crash in Chicago, 1 Dead, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published July 16, 2013.
Prosecutor: NBA coach Jason Kidd pleads guilty to 2012 drunk-driving charge, by Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley, CNN, published July 16, 2013.