Dylan Donahue, who plays for the New York Jets, has had a difficult first year in the National Football League. The 25-year-old linebacker was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft due to his special teams and pass rushing prowess, but he suffered a season-ending elbow injury in just his fourth regular season game and he was taken into custody on drunk driving charges in February. Police say that Donahue was intoxicated when he allegedly drove into the Lincoln Tunnel against the flow of traffic and struck a bus.
Donahue faces the possibility of severe sanctions under the NFL’s substance abuse policy, but media outlets have revealed that the Lincoln Tunnel incident was not the athlete’s first drunk driving charge. According to reports, Donahue was taken into custody on DUI charges in Montana in May 2017 after being involved in a car accident. Police say that he failed a field sobriety test at the scene and a breath test determined that his blood alcohol level was .137 percent at the time of the crash.
It is not clear whether or not the New York Jets were aware of the May incident when they drafted Donahue, and a team representative declined to comment on the matter while the cases are still pending. Donahue originally faced a felony endangerment count in connection with the Billings accident, but the charge was subsequently reduced to a misdemeanor.
The consequences of drunk driving can be particularly severe when those accused of getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol work in the public eye or drive vehicles for a living. When their clients face possibly career-ending sanctions for making poor decisions, experienced criminal defense attorneys may point this out during plea negotiations and urge prosecutors to show leniency.
Source: ESPN, “Dylan Donahue, arrested last month for DWI, also faces DUI charge from May ’17”, Rich Cimini, March 19, 2018