A role-player and developmental prospect for the greatest team in the National Football League, the Kansas City Chiefs, was arrested on drugged driving charges, reports the Chicago Tribune. Donald Washington, 25, was pulled over after hitting 88 mph in Effingham County. After detecting the odor of marijuana, the officer searched the vehicle and found marijuana in a backpack in the trunk.
Disclaimer: This blogger is an obsessive Kansas City Chiefs fan.
Setting fandom aside for a moment, let's all take a moment to ponder how the officer was able to smell marijuana that was in a backpack in the trunk. Was Washington really stupid enough to smoke weed in the car? Did he simply have the foresight to tuck the rest of the stash in a backpack in the trunk?
The Tribune is reporting that he was arrested for "possessing DUI drugs", unlawful possession of marijuana, speeding, and driving while his license is suspended. Other sources, such as the Effingham Daily News, are reporting that he has already been charged with driving under the influence and that more charges related to crushed pills found in the car are still possible.
That's a lot of bad news for a fringe roster candidate. NFL teams, and the league, and sports bloggers don't take too kindly to troubled players that aren't stars.
Nonetheless, let's look at the DUI charge. In Illinois, a conviction on a DUI charge can still happen, even if the driver wasn't presently under the influence or impaired. Mere remnants of earlier use, from days or weeks before, can be enough for a conviction. The statute states that one shall not drive while:
[T]here is any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person's breath, blood, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act.
Depending on how far the district attorney wishes to push things, he could even be charged with a felony aggravated DUI charge if his drug test comes out positive. The drugs alone won't suffice for a felony charge, but a DUI on a suspended license is grounds for a Class 4 felony, which carries between one and three years in prison, plus up to $25,000 in fines.
That's pretty harsh for a little weed in a backpack in the trunk. Perhaps even more harsh than getting cut from a football roster.
- Consult a Chicago DUI Attorney (FindLaw)
- Drunk Driver Injures 4, Drove on a Suspended License; Felony? (FindLaw's Chicago DUI Blog)
- Judge David Hall Acquitted of DUI: How the Defense Did It (FindLaw's Chicago DUI Blog)
- Like Father, Like Son; DUIs, Motorcycles, and LSD (FindLaw's Chicago DUI Blog)