Wednesday, July 22, 2009

O. Schmitt Pleads Guilty to Reckless Driving

by: Mike Parker

Owen Schmitt can breathe a sigh of relief today after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving, stemming from a June 25 arrest on suspicion of DUI.

Schmitt was sentenced to 365 days in jail, but 364 of those days were suspended. The remaining one day in jail was converted to 24 hours of community service, and Schmitt will pay $2,130 in fines, fees and costs. He'll also serve two years of probation.

On the night of the arrest, the fullback known as "The Runaway Beer Truck" allegedly blew a 0.151 and a 0.161 after his Jeep was seen swerving and tailgating in Black Diamond, WA. Danny O'Neil reports that per Schmitt's lawyer, Diego Vargas, there were "issues with the accuracy and admissibility" of the Breathalyzer results. (In other words, it was either the worst equipment in the history of breath-test equipment, or this guy is the reincarnation of Johnnie Cochran.)

Either way, Schmitt got off easy on this one. I hope the league won't be too harsh on him, but at least Goodell has been distracted lately with a more high-profile player's eligibility for reinstatement. (No, I'm not going to mention it here because I honestly think I might set myself on fire and run into traffic if I have to hear another update on either Vick or BrutFarr again.)

Hopefully, Schmitt learns from this experience and realizes that even professional athletes are mortal. With the signing of Justin Griffith and the installation of a new system, I hope Schmitt will begin to shift his focus from stupidity and back onto football. His role in this offense remains to be seen, and this incident doesn't help his stock.