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Michigan State University player faces underage drinking sentence

A Michigan State University football player has moved on to the next step in his underage drinking case, during which he was accused of driving while intoxicated. The man is slated to be sentenced in connection with the drunk-driving allegations during a hearing in late September. He was accused of drinking before getting behind the wheel on July 20, when he was arrested after a routine traffic stop.

The young man, a redshirt freshman for the Michigan State team, is not yet 21, so different standards apply to his drunk-driving case. For drivers under the legal drinking age, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is just 0.02 percent. This compares with 0.08 percent for drivers who are over 21 years of age. In this case, the young man's blood alcohol content measured at 0.06 percent, significantly over the limit for his age group.

Authorities report the young man pleaded guilty to the charges during a hearing in early August. He was subject to the Michigan "zero tolerance law," which has some serious consequences. The driver could face up to 360 hours of community service, along with hundreds of dollars in fines. Still, since this was the young man's first offense, he will not spend any time in jail. Coaches from Michigan State University say they have already levied additional penalties against the young man, as he violated codes of conduct for athletes at the school.

The MSU team has been plagued with other alcohol-related problems this season, as the 18-year-old freshman kicker for the team received a citation for underage drinking. He pleaded guilty to the charges in early September.

Even though these young people could be considered dangers on the road, the incidents were first offenses. The driver in this case did not receive an extraordinarily burdensome punishment from the courts, but he may think before drinking and driving in the future. The judge in this case showed leniency in the hopes that the young man will reform his behavior without an outrageous punishment.

Source: www.mlive.com, "Michigan State cornerback Ezra Robinson faces underage drinking/driving sentencing next week" Brandon Howell, Sep. 10, 2013

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