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.
Source: Isportstimes.com, Cowboys DUI arrest, Jay Ratliff arrested less than two months after death of Jerry Brown, January 23, 2013