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Hockey player sentenced for DUI charge

A prospect for the NHL's Detroit Red Wings has learned that even in hockey-crazed Michigan, stars are susceptible to punishment when it comes to drinking and driving.

The player, who, this month, turned 21, was arrested in late October on a variety of charges. Now, he has pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle while impaired by a blood-alcohol content exceeding 0.17 percent.

At the time of his arrest, the player was driving a 2012 Jeep Wrangler in Grand Rapids. Police stopped him on Ottawa Avenue N.W., near Pearl Street, because he was driving the wrong way, according to records. At the time of his arrest, he was dressed as Tinky Winky, the purple character from the preschool television show, "Teletubbies."

He twice registered 0.30 on a breathalyzer test administered at the county jail. He also had with him the Michigan driver's license of a teammate, according to police. Prosecutors in Grand Rapids District Court agreed to dismiss the charges of driving the wrong way and using or displaying false identification. The player now has to pay a fine of $1,325, as well as serve a year's probation, attend a victim-impact class and spend 49 hours on a work crew.

In Michigan, an offender with a blood-alcohol content of 0.17 also faces a 12-month driver's license suspension, according to information provided by the state. After 45 days, the driver could have license privileges provisionally reinstated by using an ignition interlock device. The driver would be responsible for any fees involved.

An official with the Red Wings recently said the player is getting help and will continue to do so. In the meantime, he continues to play with one of the Red Wings' minor-league teams based in Grand Rapids.

Help is exactly what this young man needs. At just 21, he should be greatly influenced by the variety of punishments he has received, especially hearing the victim impact stories. Young people can absorb such powerful messages and curb any desire to drink and drive.

Source: MLive, "Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan, who was arrested in Teletubby costume, pleads guilty to drunk driving," Peter J. Wallner, Dec. 14, 2012

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