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Basketball player's drunk driving plea deal restricts travel

A drunk driving-related charge can have a multitude of consequences on a person's life, even if that person doesn't have to spend time behind bars. For one pro basketball player known to many Georgia basketball fans, his plea agreement means that he won't be able to leave the state where he now lives for 25 days and will miss three away games.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who played for the University of Georgia before being drafted into the pros, was charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence (OWI) in March when he was playing for the Detroit Pistons. He entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge, was placed on a 12-month probation and was ordered not to leave Michigan. Under the National Basketball Association's substance abuse policy, he was suspended for the first two games of the current season.

Since then, the shooting guard signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, for whom he now plays. He was allowed to relocate. However, during a court appearance this month, a judge ordered that he must remain in California for 25 days. He can still play in home games and in away games within the state during that time. The Lakers aren't scheduled to travel to Atlanta to play the Hawks until late February.

Caldwell-Pope told the press that he accepted the restriction as part of his plea agreement, but "as far as my teammates, I feel like I let them down as well, my coaches, the organization." His coach, Luke Walton, indicated that he wasn't aware that his player, who scored two dozen points in his last out-of-state game before the restriction was ordered, could face a travel ban. A statement from the team said that it is "abiding by the terms of a program for Kentavious that were established for him by a court in the state of Michigan."

If you have been charged with a DUI, an experienced defense attorney can help you decide, based on the facts of your case, whether it's a wise option to contest the evidence and/or the charge and plead not guilty. Through a plea agreement, you may be able minimize the consequences of the DUI on your life and career.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Lakers' Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will sit out road games outside California for next month," Tania Ganguli, Dec. 16, 2017