The Dallas Cowboys are once again a headline regarding what professional
athletes should not do on their free time. According to an ESPN Dallas
report, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff has been charged with driving under
the influence after his truck sideswiped an 18-wheeler. No one was injured
in the crash.
While a number of accounts indicate that no alcohol was found in Ratliff's
vehicle, officers indicated that Ratliff exhibited "clear indications"
that he had been drinking (i.e. that he allegedly had alcohol on his breath,
slurred speech and bloodshot eyes). At this point, it is unknown what
Ratliff's blood alcohol level was at the time of arrest, as he allegedly
refused to take a breathalyzer test.
Ratliff's arrest comes just over a month after teammate Josh Brent
was indicted on charges of
intoxication manslaughter after an auto accident in early December claimed the life of his friend
and practice squad member Jerry Brown. According to numerous news reports,
Brent's BAC was twice the legal limit.
The Ratliff story is compelling because there are several unanswered questions
surrounding the alleged refusal. As we have reported previously, the legal
implications of refusing a breath test can be significant. A person's
driver's license can be suspended for up to one year for refusing
such a test. However, a driver suspected of DUI has the option of
choosing urine or blood tests in lieu of a breath test, and there was no information
available indicating whether he chose a blood test over the breathalyzer test.
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional details
as they become available.
Cowboys DUI arrest, Jay Ratliff arrested less than two months after death
of Jerry Brown, January 23, 2013