Jonathan Ledbetter, a defensive lineman for the University of Georgia, nearly had his college career, potential football career and possibly his entire life derailed by two alcohol-related arrests.
Ledbetter was arrested in March of last year at an Athens bar for underage drinking and having a fake ID. Because of potential problems with the way the evidence against him was obtained, the charges were dropped.
However, that July he was charged with DUI and underage alcohol possession after he was found asleep in his vehicle, which was stopped at a traffic light. He was suspended for six games by UGA based on the university’s athletic policy.
The now 19-year-old Ledbetter, who has now been back on the field for over six months, says that he has learned from his mistakes thanks in part to medical assistance and counseling provided by the university. He said, “I just need to be more mature. If I’m going to play at a position and play football as a man, I need to be a man outside of football.”
Ledbetter credits his coach and his teammates with supporting him and helping him deal with his issues with alcohol, which he calls “a bump in the road.” His coach, in turn, says that the young player handled his obligations “very well.”
Not all young people who get into trouble with underage drinking and DUIs are able to get their life back on track until they’ve made many more mistakes. However, it’s essential that if your child is charged with underage drinking and/or DUI, you seek experienced legal guidance to help mitigate the consequences of their actions and perhaps get them the help they need rather than criminal penalties.
Source: OnlineAthens, “UGA DL Jonathan Ledbetter tackled maturing off the field after alcohol arrests,” Marc Weiszer, May 02, 2017