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NFL still needs stiffer DUI penalties

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While the NFL currently holds its players accountable for drunk driving, recent events indicate that the current system of discipline isn’t completely effectively preventing misbehavior.

Otherwise, three players wouldn’t have been arrested for DUI over the past two weekends.

And so to the extent the league’s system of fines and suspensions is meant in part to deter players and other team and league employees from endangering the lives and property of paying customers by putting their hands on the wheel after bending an elbow a few times too many, it’s not working.

So the NFL needs to stiffen the penalties.  And the NFLPA should readily agree with an efforts to do so.

The goal for the NFL should be zero DUI arrests.  Not a total of three in nine days.

Until the NFL does something more to drive that number down, the media needs to ask the kind of questions that Cliff Christl of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel posted to G.M. Ted Thompson after the team signed Koren Robinson in 2006, only a few weeks after he led police on a drunken high-speed chase through the sleepy streets of Mankato, Minnesota:  “Ted, what if he kills somebody in this state?  Driving drunk or speeding away from cops?”

Thompson called it a valid question.  So why don’t questions like that get asked more often?

Until they do, here’s some musings and/or rantings from today’s PFT Live.

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16 Responses to “NFL still needs stiffer DUI penalties”
  1. delmonte55 says: Jun 11, 2012 5:26 PM

    Why aren’t the state and local laws good enough? Should every company have DUI enforcement for their employees? What are the rules at NBC?

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 11, 2012 5:32 PM

    Absolutely. Jaguars are already pressure washing Blackmon, so they can trot him out as a “new man”. Soon they will punish the guy with about $20 million in guaranteed money. Trying to spin a feel good tale of redemption from the matter.

  3. tomeffnbrady says: Jun 11, 2012 5:35 PM

    This means that, “to the extent the league’s system of fines and suspensions is meant in part to deter players and other team and league employees from endangering the lives and property of paying customers by putting their hands on the wheel after bending an elbow a few times too many,” it’s not working.
    —-
    that is a massive non-essential clause.

  4. eagleswin says: Jun 11, 2012 5:36 PM

    Nflpa agree? You must have gotten a sense of humor. Let me know when the nflpa agrees to any of the existing safety measures that are on the table.

  5. sbdt says: Jun 11, 2012 5:54 PM

    Same reason Ryan Leaf didn’t stay out of trouble. Or anyone else for that matter. Alcoholics and addicts don’t think of repercussions before they act. They’re compelled to do insane things while drinking and using until they get clean, go to jail, or die.
    Sure, every now and then someone has some bad luck and gets pulled over after a couple martinis. Maybe they’re not alcoholic. But dudes that get behind the wheel blowing .18 or .23 or whatever are abusing alcohol. They’re not thinking about getting docked a paycheck. And they’re definitely not thinking about what you’re gonna say on your blog.

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 11, 2012 6:00 PM

    You can spot the guys that drink to much a mile away. All those tattoos. No one does that sober.

  7. magnustroi says: Jun 11, 2012 6:05 PM

    Jaguars are already pressure washing Blackmon, so they can trot him out as a “new man”. Soon they will punish the guy with about $20 million in guaranteed money. Trying to spin a feel good tale of redemption from the matter.

    They need to STOP fining this guys and suspend them straight away !!!! Making them accountable to their Team Mates explaining their absence from the field !!!! Maybe their Team Mates might have more to say !!!!! Saying we don’t need you if your always suspended !!!!!

    Make it hurt them Publicly and with their Team Mates ………….

  8. conormacleod says: Jun 11, 2012 6:07 PM

    Why stop at DUI’s? What about speeding? Texting while driving? Changing the radio station? Or, maybe we let the authorities deal with people that break the laws, instead of employers.

  9. funktron2x says: Jun 11, 2012 6:15 PM

    As much as it is the goal of all humanity to stop drunken driving, (that’s drunken, not drunk), it’s not going to happen. And it’s not any different for athletes. Yes, we like to make little one-off comments about how they can afford rides and how they should be role models – but the reality is that it is just another profession like anything else and fame+money doesn’t stop people from being people and making the mistakes and dumb choices that people do. Calling for stricter punishment only makes sense to me if the punishment doesn’t match the norms in other professions.

  10. jaimelh02 says: Jun 11, 2012 6:25 PM

    I wonder if the writer of this article has ever driven a vehicle after drinking alcohol? I bet he has, just hasn’t been caught or as drunk as Blackmon haha

  11. 69finfan says: Jun 11, 2012 6:45 PM

    To sbdt;

    Well Said.

  12. peytonwantsaflag says: Jun 11, 2012 7:16 PM

    Bull, that’s the state’s job not employers. The league already does way too much.

  13. beauregard says: Jun 11, 2012 7:29 PM

    For every three NFL players that got caught there were a hundred that didn’t get caught. They just made it home without getting stopped or running into something.

  14. cobrala2 says: Jun 11, 2012 10:31 PM

    I agree with ‘let the law sort them out’.

    That said there’s hundreds of idiots on any given night driving when they ought not to. I enjoy a recreational smoke regularly and never get behind the wheel because I’m not totally Normal. Then again I’m not normal sober either.

    Anywho MY problem with ‘what’s wrong with the law?’ is the answer: a LOT.

    Ive known many people with multiple DUIs and they got what? A trip to defensive driving school and a few bills to a DUI lawyer.

    …there’s a LOT wrong with the law.

    That said each DUI reflects poorly on the nfl. The nfl is a private collective of multiple business owners. their chosen CEO, the commish, is cracking down, like it or not.

    What do you guys care if Blackmon got suspended? How are you guys affected. Similar to ‘let the law sort it’ you also must concede ‘let his boss sort it out’, otherwise you’re just regurgitating a cliche to suit yourselves.

  15. covercorner says: Jun 12, 2012 3:37 PM

    No matter how harsh the penalties are, there will always be drunk drivers. The NFL is not a police state.

  16. jaxbeachjagfan says: Jun 12, 2012 9:15 PM

    I wonder (sarcastically) if the NFL teams care about all the drunk drivers they create every Sunday during the season and unleash after a solid 6-8 hours of drinking during their gamedays?

    The hypocrisy is profound.

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