If you get charged with driving under the influence it can have life-altering consequences no matter how old you are. But if you are an underage student athlete at the University of Georgia (or for that matter, any school), it can jeopardize the entire trajectory of your future.
That’s something that one UGA defensive lineman is learning. Jonathan Ledbetter was arrested in July for the second time since March on alcohol-related charges. His first arrest was for creating a fake ID and attempting to use it to go to a bar, but those charges got dropped.
It appears this time he wasn’t quite so lucky, however. According to reports of the incident, officers responded to the scene of a vehicle blocking traffic in an intersection at approximately 5:30 a.m. The location was Lexington Roads and Barnet Shoals, and one report states the football player was allegedly passed out behind the wheel of his vehicle, a Dodge Avenger. The car was in gear and running, and police reportedly tried to awaken the driver for more than 30 minutes
Once awakened by police, the student athlete allegedly admitted to consuming “a couple” of beers. It was reported that he failed two separate tests that gauge alcohol levels.
UGA football coach Kirby Smart stated that at this time, Ledbetter will remain a member of the Bulldogs team and seek treatment. The university added that due to his second arrest, he must undergo a counseling, medical assistance and intensified education program in addition to being disciplined by the team and/or the university itself.
The coach dismissed two other players earlier this summer after they had been repeatedly arrested; it is expected that, at minimum, Ledbetter will face suspension this fall.
It should be noted that all of these penalties, restrictions and potential lost opportunities are in addition to the criminal repercussions for DUI that he faces.
Those in similar situations need to strategize with their defense attorneys to develop a staunch defense to the allegations to have the best chance of avoiding a conviction.
Source: iNews Today, “Georgia defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter arrested again,” Ross Houston, July 20, 2016