Matt Russell gets seven months for first-offense DUI

AP

A judge in Colorado has sent a powerful message about drunk driving.  Arguably, too powerful.

Per multiple reports, Broncos director of player personnel Matt Russell has received a sentence of seven months after pleading guilty to DUI, careless driving, and possession of an open container of alcohol.  Russell also will be placed on probation for two years.

Russell drove his vehicle into a police SUV, injuring a Breckenridge, Colorado police officer.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Russell will be eligible for work release.  Also, under a Colorado law that provides a day-for-day credit based on time served, Russell’s sentence should be completed in 3.5 months.

He was suspended by the Broncos following the incident, and Russell has at all times shown remorse for his conduct.  While it seems that the judge went perhaps too far to make an example out of Russell, the outcome sends the strongest message possible to anyone who may be tempted to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking.

64 responses to “Matt Russell gets seven months for first-offense DUI

  1. Colorado-where you can get 7months in jail for a first time DUI but still legally smoke pot.

  2. Harsh? He didn’t just get a DUI. He hit a vehicle and injured a police officer. It’s one thing to get pulled over for a DUI but hitting a vehicle and injuring an officer cant be compared. They went easy on him.

  3. Yet, another headline reads: “Shaun Goodman, Wealthy Man With 7th DUI Arrest, Gets Light Sentence”.

    The light sentence was a year of work release, with no jail time. Go figure.

  4. His drunken driving injured someone. I don’t see his sentence as overboard at all. There is a huge difference between a DUI and a DUI resulting in an injury accident.

  5. Three and a half months doesn’t seem at all excessive considering that he could have killed someone.

  6. So he didn’t get 7 months for a first time DUI – he got 7 months for a first time DUI during which he crashed into a police car and injured a police officer.

  7. Considering the fact that he drove drunk with an open container and bashed into a federal vehicle while injuring a government employee…

    …I wouldn’t agree “that the judge went perhaps too far to make an example out of Rusell.”

    Considering that he could have killed the police officer had things gone a bit differently, that statement shows the numbness that even the media has towards all members of the NFL and their response to committing criminal activity in the real world.

    If it were any of us regular folks, committing this very same crime, these very same members of the media would have no remorse to the outcome of our trials.

    Sad, sad, sad.

  8. I really don’t think the judge went too far. He drove drunk, caused an accident and injured an officer of the law. That’s assault with a deadly weapon, and attempted murder. 3.5 months is nothing, he could’ve killed a guy just doing his job.

  9. The moral of the story is when you drive drunk, do it well, because if you hit someone, especially a cop, you are scrod. Then again, we could just treat drinking and driving more seriously to begin with, even if you don’t hit a cop, and it would be a deterrent and save lives. Nah–makes too much sense.

  10. DUI should be an automatic suspension of license for at least a year and jail time. I mean absolutely automatic jail time. It’s an insanely dangerous thing to do.

    I’d say the punishment fit the crime here. If not a little lax. I would have preferred a year in jail. Did he make a mistake? Sure. Should he get work release? Ok. But you should get that jail time on your record.

  11. Even despite the many risks, the biggest reason why drinking and driving continues to be so prevalent is the fact that you generally get away with it 95% of the time. It creates this false sense of safety, and a belief that “hey, I’ve gotten away with this countless times and tonight will be no different.”

    Driving under the influence is one of those crimes that people will generally continue to commit until they finally get caught.

  12. Too lenient? A man was injured because this clown decided to get behind the wheel while drinking. In California, that is a felony. 7 months is pretty lenient if you ask me.

  13. The state of Colorado may need to build a satellite detention facility at the Bronco’s training facility just to accommodate all the players and coaching staff who can’t stay out of trouble.

  14. too harsh ? SERIOUSLY !!!! let you or I crash into a cop while drunk ! we wouldnt see the light of day and would be getting beat downs daily from correctional officers ,pretty offended at the idea that this sentence was too harsh !

  15. Seven months in prison for driving drunk and hitting a Police officer?

    Sounds like the Government just ganged up on the guy.

  16. Matt Russell doesn’t always drive drunk, but when he does, he runs into a police vehicle. Even with that haircut, the judge had no choice.

  17. At least Matt Russel has an authority position in society if that was a lower class individual that did that he would be in Prison for two years.

  18. His drunken driving injured someone. I don’t see his sentence as overboard at all. There is a huge difference between a DUI and a DUI resulting in an injury accident.

    He injured someone like Ray Rice did, but Ray did it on purpose. So Ray will get a year and you would agree. I think not…don’t be a hypocrite.

  19. Colorado does have some of the stiffest penalties for DUI’s in the nation. I am a bit surprised given his high profile that he didn’t get off with just probation so this is welcoming news to normal people like me.

  20. What makes a “government employee” so much more valuable than the average citizen that you clowns feel like the sentence should be greater, just for that reason alone? Could it be the government employees staggering benefit package that allows him to retire and travel the world with almost a full salary and benefits, for life? Yeah, if that’s what you mean, then yeah, I can see why that person is more valuable than me….even though it was sheer coincidence he hit the police car versus say, a car with a baby in it.

  21. What does it matter if he injured a police officer or injured just a regular person?

    What, we’re treating police officers as more valuable now?

    (and I’d like to see just how strongly he struck the other vehicle and just how “injured” this officer is)

  22. irkjames says: May 23, 2014 3:05 PM

    Considering the fact that he drove drunk with an open container and bashed into a federal vehicle while injuring a government employee…

    …I wouldn’t agree “that the judge went perhaps too far to make an example out of Rusell.”

    Considering that he could have killed the police officer had things gone a bit differently, that statement shows the numbness that even the media has towards all members of the NFL and their response to committing criminal activity in the real world.

    If it were any of us regular folks, committing this very same crime, these very same members of the media would have no remorse to the outcome of our trials.

    Sad, sad, sad—————————————
    —————————————————-
    The media is like the government, they have the good old boys system.

  23. And child rapists in some states get probation. The leftists have ruined a once great country. The leftists have killed more people in a month with cafe standards then d.u.i.’s have killed in the past 100 years and the next 500 years combined.

  24. Will the court system bring the same sentence upon an illegal . Doubt it. An illegal without a drivers license, insurance, causing a fatal accident gets released by the tyrant and there administration with a notice to appear.

  25. If that was my car he hit it would’ve been just probation. But since it was a cop car he got seven months. There will be a day the general public turns on the cops

  26. Too HARSH? He’s lucky he wasn’t in some other country:

    Drunk Driving Penalties in other Countries

    Australia:
    The names of the drivers are sent to the local newspapers and are printed under the heading “He’s Drunk and in Jail”.

    Malaysia:
    The Driver is jailed and if married, his wife is jailed too.

    South Africa
    A 10 year prison sentence and the equivalent of a $10,000.00 fine

    Turkey
    Drunk drivers are taken 20 miles outside of town by police and are forced to walk back under escort

    Norway
    Drunk Driving Penalties in other Countries

    Australia:
    The names of the drivers are sent to the local newspapers and are printed under the heading “He’s Drunk and in Jail”.

    Malaysia:
    The Driver is jailed and if married, his wife is jailed too.

    South Africa
    A 10 year prison sentence and the equivalent of a $10,000.00 fine

    Turkey
    Drunk drivers are taken 20 miles outside of town by police and are forced to walk back under escort

    Norway
    Three weeks in jail at hard labor, one year loss of license. Second offense within five years, license revoked for life.

    Finland & Sweden
    Automatic jail for one year of hard labor

    Costa Rica
    Police remove plates fron car

    Russia
    License revoked for life

    England
    One year suspension and a $250.00 fine and jail for one year

    France
    Three year loss of license, one year in jail and a $1000.00 fine

    Poland
    Jail, fine and forced to attend political lectures

    Bulgaria
    A second conviction results in execution

    El Salvador
    Your first offense is your last—execution by firing squad

  27. I can only imagine how much time in prison (not jail), the average person would get if they were drunk, rammed into a cop car, and injured the officer.

    And why I say prison and not jail? Because people are only put in jail for up to a year, for any normal person their sentence would certainly exceed that so prison is where they’d go.

    The emphasis of this article almost feels like the fact that it was his first DUI, not what happened as a result of the DUI.

    People generally get lighter sentences when it’s their first offense, but it’s within reason. Stealing a candy bar for your first time and smashing into cops for your first time are two different things.

  28. Uh I’m no rocket scientist. But, he probably got 7 months because he like hit a police car and maimed an officer. You know that’s sometimes frowned upon.

  29. He got what he deserved.
    My ex daughter in law has 2 arrests and 1 hit and run while drunk. Her sentence? 120 days. What a joke.
    My friend had a son killed by a drunk driver. His sentence, 1 year and 10 years probation. His victims sentence? The death penalty

  30. 1 for 1 credit for time served? That’s like getting to kill two pedestrians for the price of one!

  31. Mike, you think seven months is too much! I just feel sorry for you, if you really feel this way.

  32. The guy’s BAC was like 2.4…legal limit in CO is .04
    First offense or not that would get me 18 mos most likely, before you throw in the slamming the cop car part, open bottle of Schnapps (lol) added, he is fortunate and his position only helped him.

  33. I don’t think the sentence was in any way too harsh. There are way, way too many cases of a drunk driver causing an accident and killing other people. DUI’s should be dealt with harshly and strongly. We need to make people think twice BEFORE they decide to drink and drive, not after. If the consequences are exceedingly strong and known to be strong, maybe more people will make the right choices.

  34. Maybe he and Ward can share the same cell and bond. Von Miller wont be far behind and a great place to rehab a knee with the weights.
    Denver is becoming the new Bengals.

  35. In general, there are two types of people in America: Those who have been charged with DUI and those who have got lucky.

  36. The 7 months is for injuring a cop. The DUI is incidental.
    Can’t have people injuring officers while they’re hammered.
    I drink, but I understand this. Hurt a cop, do time.
    Period.

  37. I believe in setting harsh examples to these elite wealthy individuals who set bad examples and GET OFF all the time, aldon smith, the other whiner that nothing happened to, these are supposed to be role models yet they act like the worst of the worst..

    bout time someone is not accepting the bribe money and giving these people what they deserve, they are PUBLIC images for goodness sakes, behave accordingly and stop thinking you are above reproach

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