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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

Former UW player faces DUI charges

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who played football at the University of Washington, was taken into custody for DUI in Florida according to a news release dated Sept. 23. It was the second time the athlete had been detained for DUI, the first following an incident that took place in 2013. At that time, he had an accident and his blood alcohol content was .18 percent. He pleaded guilty and was in jail for a day.

The Florida Highway Patrol officer who took him into custody in September said that Seferian-Jenkins was traveling about 75 to 80 mph when he entered Interstate 275. He then allegedly cut off the officer, and his vehicle started weaving. After being taken into custody, he refused to take a breath test and was charged with violation of an ignition interlock device restriction and DUI.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had already planned to release him before news of the DUI was known. The team's website reported that coaches were in meetings when they learned about the DUI.

For people who are in certain professions, such as sports, education or politics, a drunk driving charge can be damaging to their career. Even a first-time offense may lead to serious legal repercussions including the requirement to install an ignition interlock device, jail time and a fine. People who already have multiple DUIs on their record might be mainly concerned about reducing their penalties while someone who has never had a DUI may want to try to get the charges dismissed entirely. One option might be a plea bargain in which the person pleads guilty to a lesser charge. An attorney might also raise doubts about the accuracy of blood or breath tests or the officer's account of the traffic stop.

Source: Sports Press NW, "Seferian-Jenkins arrested for DUI, cut by Bucs," Sept. 23, 2016

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