Mizzou's Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel charged with DWI
Here's the facts:
According to Maj. Tom Reddin of the Boone County sheriff’s office, at 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, November 16th, Missouri's Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel was stopped on Keene Street near Broadway in Columbia for lane and signal violations while driving a Chevrolet Avalanche.
“He was cooperative throughout the contact,” Maj. Reddin said.
Reddin would not comment on what field sobriety tests or breath test were conducted or on the results of those tests. Neither would MU athletic officials or the attorney who represents Pinkel comment.
Pinkel, in a news release, said he had met friends for dinner after practice Wednesday and was stopped afterwards.
Here's my take:
In the state of Missouri they call drunk driving charges "driving while intoxicated" (DWI), in Kansas they call the same charges "driving under the influence" (DUI). Regardless they are the same charges with nearly identical penalties.
While at the present time the details regarding Pinkel's Field Sobriety Tests, Breath Test results, etc, are not public knowledge it is hard to comment on the penalties he might be subject to in the criminal arena, and whether the penalties he is currently enduring from The University of Missouri's administration are justified.
The biggest impression take from this whole situation so far is that The University of Missouri has levied unprecedented penalties against Coach Pinkel for simply being charges with DWI. Keep in mind people that he has NOT been convicted. I have had numerous clients that have been charged with DUI in the State of Kansas when not even drinking or using drugs! One case comes to mind where a client simply reached down to grab a CD, wrecked his car, and was later charged with a DUI when he refused to consent to a Blood Test. Just because someone is charged with a crime does NOT mean they are guilty or have necessarily done anything wrong. I think it is highly unfair for The University to issue penalties against Coach Pinkel at this junture in time without seeing what happens with his case.
If he is convicted or gets a diversion, which is the most likely outcome being as this is his first offense, then I would be perfectly fine with them enforcing these penalties, but at least give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Innocent until proven guilty right?
Update as of 11/18/11:
Pinkel has plead guilty today to a class B misdemeanor for driving his car while intoxicated and was given a suspended sentence of 30 days in jail, meaning he will serve no time, and pay no fine.
Pinkel will be on probation for two years with any similar incident in that period resulting in Pinkel having to serve the jail time. Pinkel is also subject to a 30 day Driver's License Suspension, followed by 6 months of restricted license privileges.
Pinkel stated publicly that he wanted to take responsibility for his actions and has done so by pleading guilty in court today.