To say college football is very popular in Alabama would be an understatement. Many residents live to watch and cheer for their beloved University of Alabama Crimson Tide. So when one of their star players gets arrested multiple times for driving under the influence (DUI), it’s big news.
According to a recent news article from the Anniston Star, Geno Matias-Smith discussed his second arrest for drunk driving and how it has affected his life and his team. Last March was when his second DUI arrest occurred. Following this arrest, Matias-Smith said he knew he had to get his life back on track and earn back the trust of his teammates and the coaching staff.
He said he needed to learn from this experience and change his priorities. He said he is now 100 percent committed to the team and to graduating from college.
As our Birmingham DUI attorneys have seen all too often, drunk driving is not like most other crimes in terms of the reasons the crime is committed and the chances of a person committing the same offense in the future. The first major difference between DUI and other Alabama criminal offenses is that most people who get arrested for drunk driving as a first offense have never committed any other crime in their lives.
It may not shock anyone that a person addicted to crystal meth is committing theft crimes to feed his or addiction. But if a college student or working professional was arrested, it would surprise those who know the defendant. However, in the case of drunk driving, we often see people with no prior record getting arrested, sometimes repeatedly.
It is important to note that even though it may seem like a good idea to take a quick plea to a DUI to avoid jail time, it may make things very difficult if you are arrested again for DUI in Alabama. It is probably in your best interest to speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney before taking that quick plea.
As a result of this second DUI arrest, Matias-Smith missed a week of practice this past spring during team training days. He also had to fulfill additional conditions that where not publicly released. Coach Nick Saban stated there have been no discussions of dismissing Matias-Smith from the Alabama football team but said, while they are concerned about him, he is a “good kid who works hard.”
Coach Saban went on to say that you “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” He said the team would stand by him during his inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, which the coach implied were a part of his jail release conditions. He went on to say Matias-Smith is one of the older players on the team and will be asked to serve as a leader for the younger recruits. Matias-Smith stated he welcomes the opportunity to work with the younger players and help them not make the same mistakes he did.