Wednesday, October 3, 2007

California DUI with .15 BAC enhances penalties - NFL star gets 12 days jail

California DUI criminal defense attorneys often face the excessive BAC enhancement allegation, which can trigger jail time.

A Scottsdale judge on Tuesday sentenced Tampa Bay Buccaneer tight end Jerramy Stevens to 12 days in jail and $3,160 in fines following his March arrest here for drunk driving and other traffic violations.

Judge B. Monte Morgan immediately stayed the sentence pending the outcome of an appeal expected by James Nesci, Stevens' Tucson lawyer.

Before Tuesday's sentencing, Nesci said the appeal to Maricopa County Superior Court could void Stevens' sentence, or at least delay it until after the NFL season, which ends Feb. 3 with the Super Bowl in Glendale.

Stevens could have spent as many as 30 days in jail. But Morgan suspended 18 of those days, in part, because Stevens is attending a required National Football League rehabilitation program.

That program includes more than 100 hours of one-on-one sessions with a medical doctor.

"He has to do it if he wants to play, and he is doing it," Nesci said.

Stevens showed up for Tuesday's sentencing, but skipped the verdict in September to practice in Tampa Bay for the season opener against his former team, the Seattle Seahawks.

Stevens' blood-alcohol content was 0.204 percent, nearly three times the 0.08 percent legal limit, when he was arrested. Scottsdale police stopped him about 2:30 a.m. March 13 after he was spotted driving erratically along Indian School Road near 84th Street.

His 0.204 percent BAC, put him in the extreme DUI category.

Stevens, of Bellevue, Wash., told Scottsdale police he had "four or five" margaritas before he was stopped. And officers described his eyes as "bloodshot" and half-closed.