Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard admitted in court today that he violated his probation on the night in July when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
According to Jonathan Edwards of the Lincoln Journal Star, a judge in Nebraska found today that Dennard has violated his probation. That came after a short hearing at which Dennard admitted that he had been drinking alcohol before his DUI arrest. (Dennard has not admitted guilt to drunk driving, and he says he had consumed only two beers, four and a half hours before getting behind the wheel.)
However, while the judge could have thrown Dennard in jail immediately, instead Dennard will remain on probation until he is sentenced on December 5. So for the time being, Dennard will avoid having his legal issues affect his NFL career.
But Dennard isn’t necessarily clear until December. He also has a court date on October 8 on the DUI charge. Although Dennard says he couldn’t blow hard enough to get an accurate reading on a breathalyzer after he was pulled over in that incident, the prosecutor says Dennard was purposely failing to blow hard enough, and that partial readings based on two attempted breathalyzer samples indicated that his blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit.
And regardless of what happens with the DUI charge, the NFL may view Dennard’s admission in court today as a violation of either the league’s personal-conduct policy or its substance-abuse policy. If so, Dennard could face a league-imposed suspension even before his next court date.
Dennard was arrested for hitting a police officer days before the Patriots drafted him in 2012, and he was convicted of a felony in connection with that incident in April of this year. That’s when he was initially sentenced to probation, and three months later came his arrest on suspicion of DUI.
On the field, Dennard has started both games for the Patriots this season.