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NFL player faces lengthy suspension after DUI guilty plea

| Mar 3, 2017 | Drunk Driving (DUI)

Football fans in Virginia and around the country may be familiar with the former Arizona Cardinal wide receiver Michael Floyd. The 27-year-old first-round draft pick caught only 37 passes during a disappointing 2016 campaign, and he faces an uncertain future after pleading guilty to a charge of extreme DUI on Feb. 16. Floyd will spend 96 days confined to his home after completing a 24 day jail sentence, and he also faces a league suspension that could dash his hopes of playing in 2017.

Floyd was taken into custody on drunk driving charges by Scottsdale police in December, and several aspects of the case could trigger an enhanced NFL ban. The league takes violations of its substance-abuse policy extremely seriously, and the standard two-game suspensions handed down for drunk driving infractions can be lengthened considerably when certain aggravating factors are present. Players are treated more harshly when their blood alcohol levels are found to be higher than .15 percent, when they cause property damage, injury or death and when they have a previous history of drug or alcohol problems.

Floyd was not involved in an accident prior to being taken into custody in December, but police reports indicate that his blood alcohol level was .217 percent at the time. The NFL star was also involved in three drinking-related incidents while playing college football at Notre Dame. He was cited twice for underage consumption and once for driving with a blood alcohol level of .19 percent.

The consequences of a drunk driving conviction can be life-changing for those who work in the public eye or drive for a living, and experienced criminal defense attorneys may urge prosecutors to take this into consideration during plea discussions. When these arguments fall on deaf ears, attorneys could seek to have DUI charges dropped or reduced by questioning the reliability of toxicology test results or challenging the actions of law enforcement officers during the traffic stop.