On a day when all the buzz at the Hill was supposed to be over the good news of Dejuan Coleman committing to play basketball for Syracuse University, our attention is now focused on a current student-athlete finding himself in trouble. The Post-Standard reports that lacrosse player Kevin Drew was arrested early yesterday morning on numerous charges, including Driving While Intoxicated, Resisting Arrest, and other traffic infractions. As we've done in the past, Orange::44 breaks down the charges and what legal ramifications to expect.
The charges of DWI and Resisting Arrest are the most serious of the charges Drew faces. Each are misdemeanors. If convicted, he in theory could face a year in jail. However, that's not likely here. First, with the DWI, New York has two different sections of the law under which Drew could have been charged. There is per se DWI which is based on the blood-alcohol content (BAC) being 0.08% or higher, such results coming from a breath analysis or a blood sample. The law presumes that one is intoxicated if the BAC is 0.08% or higher. The other section of the law is referred to as "common law DWI," which is basically based upon the facts and circumstances of the case, i.e. the smell of alcohol, failure of field sobriety tests, slurring of speech, admissions from the defendant, witnesses who saw him consume, etc. Basically, proving that he was intoxicated based on how he acted, as opposed to a scientific measurement. Often times this "common law DWI" is charged along with the BAC results; so that even if the BAC results are thrown out because of irregular testing procedures or something of the like, the defendant can still be prosecuted for DWI based on all the facts and circumstances of the case. I haven't heard which Drew has been charged with as of yet, but his admission that he had "a lot of beer" certainly doesn't help his case.
Resisting arrest is one of those charges that, as a defense attorney, I hate. I have a lot of respect for the police and what they deal with on a daily basis, but too often I see trumped up charges of resisting arrest for some BS reason just because the cop was on a power trip. I also see resisting arrest used almost as a cover when the police use force against the defendant -- something has to justify why the guy's face is all scratched up, or why he had to be tasered, or in this case, why Kevin Drew received a boot to the chest. Here the police alleged that Drew took an aggressive stance after exiting the car (which, evidently, was a chore in and of itself). I don't know exactly what an "aggressive stance" is or how, once he's in it, the way to subdue him is to kick him in the chest, but I wasn't there.
As for the speeding, running a stop sign, leaving the scene, failure to comply, and unlicensed operation, those are traffic infractions for which Drew faces fines, surcharges, and points on his license/driving privileges. In comparison to the above, not a big deal.
While the resisting arrest is the misdemeanor that carries the potential of a year in jail, it's more so the DWI that will have Drew facing more serious consequences. Even if it's ultimately reduced to a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), Drew faces lots of fines & surcharges, a revocation of his license/driving privileges, mandatory attendance at a Drinking Driver Program, mandatory attendance at a Victim Impact Panel, and the installation of an ignition interlock device into "any vehicle which he owns or operates." The ignition interlock is a component of the relatively new Leandra's Law enacted last year; it's a device that prevents the car's ignition from being started until the driver blows into a machine and doesn't "blow numbers" (has no alcohol on his breath). This is costly because there may be an installation fee, and there's also a monthly usage fee as well. In Drew's case, while the law might be construed to mean that since he has access to Tim Desko's car (owned by John Desko) that the ignition interlock must be installed on that car; however, many lawyers (and judges, thankfully) are recognizing that such an interpretation would basically be a government taking of private property and thus would not mandate the installation in such a case. However, if Drew owns his own vehicle (or if his parents have given him the use of one), then it would need to be installed in that. The length of time the device must remain in the vehicle(s) varies depending on DWAI vs. DWI, but suffice to say he'd be looking at a solid six months in all likelihood. The law provides for a minimum time, but its ultimate uninstallation would be up to the judge.
Kevin Drew is in some pretty big trouble legally, which doesn't put him in a good position athletically or academically. Coach Desko has already announced his indefinite suspension from the lacrosse team. Where that goes I assume will be determined by what happens on the criminal side of things. Again, I doubt much if any jail time is on the table here, but Drew will certainly be hit hard with fines, restitution for damage to the car that was hit, and have to enter into these alcohol rehabilitation programs.
Girlfriend problems or not, a taxi is WAY cheaper than what Kevin Drew will have to pay. But most importantly, let's all be thankful for the fact that nobody, including Drew, was injured in all of this.