The 49ers aren’t the only ones being questioned for how they handled the September DUI arrest of linebacker Aldon Smith.
According to NBC Bay Area, Smith may have received preferential treatment from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office in the wake of the arrest. He was booked at 9:40 a.m. local time, with a field tested blood-alcohol concentration of 0.151 percent. He reportedly was released at 11:20 a.m. local time, only one hour and 40 minutes later.
“Normal protocols were not followed,” an unnamed deputy said. “That means that preferential treatment was given to Aldon Smith.”
It’s common practice, according for the unnamed deputy, for DUI suspects to spend at least five hours behind bars. Smith was at practice during the window he otherwise would have been (should have been) in jail.
“The process is the same for everyone who gets booked and arrested,” Sheriff Laurie Smith insisted.
Questions also have been raised about an invitation Smith received to a fundraiser at Sheriff Smith’s shooting range. He was under investigation for possession of illegal weapons at the time.
“Why do you say he’s under investigation?” Sheriff Smith asked the reporter from NBC Bay Area. “He was a victim of that at his house.”
Two days after the interview with Sheriff Smith, the Santa Clara District Attorney filed felony charges against Aldon Smith on three counts of possession of illegal assault weapons, found by members of the Sheriff’s Department in Aldon Smith’s bedroom.
So while he was indeed a victim that night of a stabbing, he clearly was under investigation for felony weapons charges at a time when he was invited to the Sheriff’s shooting range to shoot weapons.
For Aldon Smith, it’s the least of his problems. But it creates an issue of appearances and integrity for the Sheriff’s office.