In the wake of Marshawn Lynch’s recent DUI arrest, the knee-jerk (and ultimately not accurate) reaction by many in the media was that Lynch inevitably will be suspended for a not-so-small chunk of the 2012 season.
That belief is wrong, for two reasons. Which makes the Lynch camp confident, we’re told, that Lynch won’t be suspended in 2012.
First, and as we previously have explained, Lynch’s DUI arrest falls not under the personal-conduct policy but the substance-abuse policy. And the substance-abuse policy states that, ordinarily, a first-offense DUI results in a fine in the amount of two game checks.
Thus, while Lynch has had a couple of incidents under the personal-conduct policy, Lynch never has been charged with or convicted of DUI. If/when he is, he’ll be suspended only if the league finds “aggravating circumstances,” whatever that may mean.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, Lynch can’t be disciplined for DUI until he’s convicted of or pleads guilty to DUI. Since the legal system typically moves fairly slowly, it’s unlikely that Lynch’s case would be resolved in court and his discipline resolved by the league and his appeal be heard and finalized, again by the league.
So unless the incident causes the Seahawks to give Lynch fewer reps, the arrest will have no impact on the player in 2012.