It became known on Wednesday that Arizona Cardinals linebacker Clark Haggans was to serve nine days in jail related to a DUI arrest in 2011. In a statement, he explained that he was in an emergency situation, his daughter's babysitter called saying there were breathing problems, he had been drinking, he tried to find his wife but couldn't, so he drove and ran a red light and was speeding, which led to his getting pulled over.
As far as excuses go, this is a good one. He was worried about his child and her health. I can imagine that were we in the same situation, we might have done the same.
However, while it is as good an excuse, it still is not a good enough excuse for driving drunk.
This story would be something very different had another person become involved. He could have hit someone or something. It happens to be one of the things that socially is viewed as terrible -- despite the fact that pretty much anyone who has ever drunk alcohol has probably driven when he or she should not have.
As a professional football player, he has an added level of responsibility. He makes a whole mot more money than we do and he is in the public eye more.
Even though it is the offseason when he does not get paid, he make enough money that that decision should never come up. If he couldn't find his wife and he had been drinking, the decision is easy. Call a cab.
By driving under the influence, he was not doing his daughter any good. Something could have happened to him or to someone else. Now he gets to go to jail. I bet his daughter is thrilled about that.
Haggans may or may not face discipline from the league and there is no reason to think that there will be consequences with the Cardinals.
But in the end, despite the extenuating circumstances, there just are no excuses for driving drunk.
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