The rash of DUI arrests this summer hasn’t been confined to the NFL. Over the weekend, recently-signed Knicks guard Jason Kidd was arrested for drunk driving.
Earlier this week, Giants tackle David Diehl was asked about the situation at a New Jersey golf tournament, by myfoxny.com.
“It just goes to show you that, it doesn’t matter who you are, you can make a bad mistake in judgment,” Diehl said. ”One thing that I’d tell him is go back to the John Wooden [principle], be more worried about your character than your reputation. Because your character is really who you are, your reputation is what people think of you. So handle it like a man, take responsibility, and help others move forward and make sure they don’t make the same mistake.”
Diehl’s generally right, but calling drunk driving a “bad mistake” is a gross understatement. Getting behind the wheel of a multi-thousand-pound steel machine and driving it among the other steel machines and/or citizens not inside them represents the culmination of a series of irresponsible and selfish decisions. Though some of those decisions are made when the decision-making process is impaired by the influence of alcohol, the process begins when the drinker-and-driver has yet to take a drink.
If the drinking was expected, the driver should have made other arrangements to get home. If the drinking occurred without advance planning, the driver should have — before taking a single sip — pressed the proverbial pause button and assessed whether there’s a way events could unfold in a manner that results in driving after having too much to drink.
The safest approach is to never drive after having anything to drink. That way, the driver doesn’t have to rely on his or her lawyer proclaiming that, for example, blowing a 0.08 percent doesn’t mean the driver was drunk.
Given that pro athletes have resources not available to the rest of us, there’s no excuse for a “bad mistake.” Or for a series of irresponsible and selfish decisions.