Claim of dementia doesn’t provide DUI defense to former Redskin

Apparently, there’s no dementia defense to drunk driving.

Former Redskins player Rickie Harris, 69, learned that lesson the hard way on Tuesday, when he was convicted of DUI.  According to Justin Jounvenal of the Washington Post, Harris claimed that football-related dementia caused his erratic driving — and possibly his drinking — on the night in question.

“All the old players talk about ‘Can’t Remember Squat,’” Harris said.  “We call it CRS.”

Harris was arrested in December 2010 after speeding and weaving over the center line three times in a 1.5-mile stretch.  He said at first that he had two glasses of champagne.  Harris later said he had two or three beers.

Breath-testing revealed that Harris had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent, exactly the legal limit.  The defense argued unsuccessfully that the passage of time between the arrest and the test made the result higher.  (There’s also a chance it made the number lower, depending on how long Harris quit drinking before he started driving.)

The dementia defense previously resulted in a hung jury on the charges.  Family members said that Harris will explore joining the concussion lawsuits against the NFL.

Because Harris has now been convicted three times of drunk driving in Virginia with a five-year period, he must spend six months in prison.

7 responses to “Claim of dementia doesn’t provide DUI defense to former Redskin

  1. He was convicted THREE TIMES?! Sounds more as though it is a substance abuse problem. I hope he gets some help before he kills someone.

  2. In all fairness, the rate if alcohol absorption is constant, and since 0.08 was the result some time after he was driving, the only way to conclusively prove he was at or above the limit while driving would be to obtain a result greater than or equal to 0.08 30-60 minutes later.

  3. ugh.. I wish he would just own up to his mistakes. Blaming the fact that he knowingly drank alcohol and decided to get into a car and drive on account of dementia is pathetic. His excuses and failure to admit his mistakes are the reasons why he’s been convicted three times.

    You can’t learn from your mistakes if you don’t accept them first.

  4. Some people have no shame. Be a man and own up to your stupidity instead of trying to pawn it off as “football-related dementia”

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