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NFL star faces lengthy suspension after DUI guilty plea

The penalties for drunk driving can be severe in Washington and around the country, and the DUI case of NFL wide receiver Michael Floyd serves as a reminder that getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol can have serious professional as well as legal repercussions. The former Arizona Cardinal and current New England Patriot was charged with extreme DUI in December, and he could be facing a lengthy suspension after entering a guilty plea on Feb. 16.

Floyd was charged with extreme DUI because his blood alcohol level was found to be 0.217 percent when he was taken into custody on Dec. 12. This level of intoxication could also lead to a longer suspension under the NFL substance-abuse policy. The standard penalty handed out to football players in this situation is a two-game suspension, but that can be lengthened if aggravating circumstances are involved. Such circumstances include a prior history of substance-abuse issues, blood alcohol levels of 0.15 percent or higher and accidents that cause property damage, serious injury or death.

While Floyd did not cause any damage or injuries, he did have a blood alcohol level higher than 0.15 percent and he was involved in three alcohol-related incidents while attending Notre Dame University. In addition to any punishments handed down by the NFL, the standout wide receiver will serve 24 days in jail followed by 96 days of home confinement. He will also be required to perform 30 hours of community service and pay a $5,116 fine.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may urge prosecutors to show leniency when a drunk driving conviction could have serious professional consequences. Attorneys could also seek to have DUI charges dismissed or reduced by challenging the validity of blood or breath tests or questioning the conduct of the police officers involved.

Source: The National Football League, "Patriots WR Michael Floyd pleads guilty to DUI, sentenced to jail", Kevin Patra, Feb. 17, 2017

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