Arizona Suns Player Pleads Guilty to “Super Extreme DUI” Charges
After his arrest in May, Arizona Suns forward PJ Tucker pleaded guilty in a Scottsdale courtroom to charges of “super extreme DUI” – which, in Arizona, means the suspect had a blood alcohol content of over .20.
Tucker will spend 3 days in jail, 11 days in home detention, and 5 years on probation for the DUI charges. He also agreed to put an interlock device on his car for 18 months, undergo substance abuse counseling, and pay fines of $2,750.
During his arrest on May 10th, officers noted that Tucker’s speed was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot. He nearly fell over during a sobriety test. A blood test revealed he had a BAC of .222, close to 3 times the legal limit of .08.
At his sentencing hearing, Tucker apologized for his DUI and stated that he would do better to regain his fans’ respect.
“I am truly sorry and I take full responsibility for my actions,” he wrote in a statement. “No excuses. It is now my responsibility to examine my life and make the changes necessary to ensure this never happens again. That process has begun and will continue with the love and support of my family, friends and, of course, the amazing Phoenix Suns.”
“In considering this matter, we concluded that P.J. was sincere in his remorse and in his resolve to accept the consequences of his actions,” Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said. “We are convinced that he will take the necessary steps to avoid any such conduct in the future. The Suns do not in any way condone his conduct, but we do support him as he works through this.”
In early July, the Suns signed Tucker to a 3-year, $16.5 million contract. The team reportedly knew about the super extreme DUI charges at the time.
South Carolina Felony DUI Law
While South Carolina does not have “super extreme DUI” charges, the state still takes driving under the influence very seriously. A driver can be charged with SC with felony DUI for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, if while operating the vehicle under the influence, the person causes “great bodily injury” or death to a person other than himself including a passenger, pedestrian, another driver.
Upon conviction of a felony DUI by jury, the accused faces a minimum mandatory prison sentence and fine. A DUI conviction that includes a felony conviction for causing the death of another includes a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 1 year in prison with a maximum 25 years imprisonment, and a minimum mandatory fine of not less than $10,100 nor more than $25,100. Additionally, the convicted person’s driver’s license is suspended for the term of imprisonment plus five years.
A felony DUI conviction for causing great bodily injury includes a mandatory minimum of 30 days to a maximum of 15 years imprisonment, plus a mandatory fine of at least $5,000, not to exceed $10,100. Also, the DMV must suspend the convicted person’s driver’s license for the term of imprisonment plus three years.
A part of the mandatory sentences required to be imposed under the felony DUI law must not be suspended, and probation must not be granted for any portion.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Felony DUI Charges in South Carolina
Based in Columbia, SC, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm collectively have over 30 years of experience with South Carolina law. The firm was founded in 1996 by former US Attorney and Assistant Solicitor Pete Strom. If you face felony DUI charges in South Carolina, we can help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Do not let DUI or felony DUI charges prevent you from pursuing opportunities. Contact us today. 803.252.4800.