In what appears to be an item from the potato-potahto/tomato-tomahto file, veteran NFL fullback Lorenzo Neal claims that he wasn’t arrested for DUI. Even though the cops said he was.
“Lorenzo Neal was not arrested,” Neal told Alexan Balekian of KMJ 105.9 FM. “Lorenzo Neal got cited.”
But here’s what CHP Officer Axel Reyes told KFSN-TV: “A basic field sobriety test determined he was driving under the influence and then placed him under arrest.”
So while Neal apparently wasn’t taken downtown (possibly because of his involvement with Safe Rides Solutions, a professional driver service and DUI prevention program operated by law enforcement professionals), KFSN reported that Neal was arrested because . . . wait for it . . . the cops said he was.
Neal admits that he “maybe had some drinks out on the golf course,” that he “made a bad choice,” that he got into a minor car accident, and that he was over the legal limit.
“I was very, very close to the limit,” Neal said. “I don’t know, 0.11 or 0.10. The legal limit is 0.08.”
Neal bristles at the notion that he was “being irresponsible” or “reckless.” But, frankly, he was.
The fact that no one was hurt or injured doesn’t matter. The law presumes that anyone with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater is impaired. And while he can shrug at the fact that he “only” had a 0.11 or a 0.10, that’s still at least 25 percent above the legal limit.
Ideally, every driver of a large, heavy, rolling steel box would at all times have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.00. In Neal’s case, his playing weight of 255 pounds coupled with the BAC chart suggests that he had at least six or seven drinks before driving, possibly more if he consumed those drinks over the full course of 18 holes of golf.
In the interview, which is available at the KMJ website, Neal complains about the fact that the incident received so much publicity. But what does he expect? When someone has a high profile in the community, a DUI arrest/citation/whatever will attract attention. Especially when the guy is directly involved in preventing drunk driving. (It’s the Chris Hansen effect.)
I came away from listening to the Lorenzo Neal interview with three conclusions. First, Neal seems to think drinking while playing golf and then driving is different from and/or better than binge drinking and then driving. There isn’t, and it’s not. Drunk driving is drunk driving, not matter what is consumed or where it’s consumed or how much is consumed. Second, Neal seems to think that the special treatment he possibly received from the cops should extend to the media and the fans. Third, more than two seasons after he last played in an NFL game, Neal’s sense of entitlement and privilege remains in midseason form.