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Charles H. Williams,
Attorney and Counselor
at Law, P.S.
707 South Snoqualmie
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Seattle, WA 98108

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Should the NFL increase penalties for DUI arrests?

Earlier this week, we wrote about the likelihood of professional athletes to be arrested and convicted on drunk driving charges. In the past few weeks, there has been a seeming influx of athletes being arrested for and charged with DUI/DWI, with three players arrested for driving drunk in the span of nine days. As a result, the perceived connection between professional athletes and drunk driving is now a major point of discussion in Seattle and throughout the country.

Now, many football fans and sports analysts are calling for the National Football League (NFL) to increase the penalties for players who are arrested for drunk driving. Under current league regulations, a DUI will result in a one-game check fine of up to $50,000, with possible game suspensions for players who receive more than one DUI charge or conviction.

Unnamed insider sources say that the NFL has wanted to increase penalties for players who receive DUIs for several years. However, the league has reportedly met resistance from the players' union. According to one sports blog, the union has resisted a shift to higher drunk driving penalties not because they don't believe players who get DUIs should be penalized, but because they don't want to put more power in the hands of the NFL commissioner.

What do you think? Certainly, NFL players who drive drunk do so on their own time, so should they receive severe penalties at work for doing so? Should the fact that they are public figures play into that decision? Or should their personal life remain just that - personal?

Source: SB Nation Seattle, "NFL Looks To Toughen DUI Arrest Penalties," June 12, 2012

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