The long awaited statement regarding the early Saturday morning arrest of Hines Ward on suspicion of DUI has finally surfaced as Ward\'s manager, Andrew Ree, claims in a statement that Ward wasn\'t impaired. He also said that Ward is deeply saddened by this incident and apologizes to his fans and the Steelers organization for this distraction.
Below is the full statement as it is printed in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
"On July 9th Hines Ward was stopped by Dekalb Co. police for suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence. He cooperated fully with the police and truthfully answered all of their questions. We are currently in the process of ascertaining all the facts. From our preliminary investigation we can tell you that we are confident that the facts will show that Hines was NOT impaired by alcohol while driving. However, Hines is deeply saddened by this incident and apologizes to his fans and the Steelers organization for this distraction."
Mike Morris of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Ward was stopped at around 2:30 a.m. after an officer noticed his car failing to maintain lane and hitting a curb. Ward reportedly failed a field sobriety test, and also refused to take a breathalyzer test. Morris reports he told officers that he only had two drinks at a downtown club.
Should the DUI charge indeed stick on Ward, the DMV has the court-imposed penalties up on their website for DUI and DWI misdemeanors in the state of Georgia. Assuming this is a first time offense for Ward, he faces a fine of $300 to $1,000. He could also face an imprisonment of 10 days to 12 months, which the judge may suspend, stay, or probate (unless the BAC (blood alcohol content) registered 0.08 or more). Then, he would have to serve a minimum of 24 hours in jail. In addition, Ward may serve at least 40 hours of community service, unless his BAC registered under 0.08, in which case the judge may be lenient and order only 20 to 40 hours of community service. Ward also would have to complete the state\'s Risk Reduction Program as it is ordered for all DUI convictions. He could be placed on probation for a period of up to 12 months; including time served and also have his driver\'s license suspended for a year.