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Miguel Cabrera swigs from a bottle of scotch in front of a cop; gets arrested for DUI

Feb 17, 2011, 9:09 AM EDT

Miguel Cabrera

After the sordid end to his 2009 season in which he drank himself into a jail cell the night before a critical season-ending series, Miguel Cabrera went on the wagon.  He dedicated himself to sobriety during the winter of 2009-10, showed up to camp sharp and trim last year and went on to post an MVP-worthy season.

Great story.  But life tends not to follow so neat a narrative:

Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera has been arrested on drunken driving charges in Florida. The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office says the 27-year-old player’s car engine was smoking alongside a road late Wednesday when a deputy spotted the vehicle. According to the arrest report, Cabrera smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and took a swig from a bottle of scotch in front of a deputy.

Oh, and in case that wasn’t enough, the details of the arrest show just how ugly an incident this really was.  Cabrera cussed out the arresting officers, ran out into the street and played the “do you know who I am?” card.

Drinking Johnnie Walker on the side of the road in plain view of a police officer and then running amok is not the stuff of a small social drinking slipup.  Cabrera’s problems are obviously back and obviously serious.  If I’m the Tigers, I get him out of spring training now and into a serious rehab facility.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Did Dombrowski make the mistake of calling him “the next Mickey Mantle”?

    • BC - Feb 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM

      Well, Mickey Mantle certainly was known to howl at the moon rather frequently…. Maybe he should have called him the next Cal Ripken?

  2. ThatGuy - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly…

  3. vader000 - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Bees! Bees! Bees in the car! Bees everywhere! God, they’re huge and they’re stinging like crazy! They’re ripping my flesh off! Run away, your firearms are useless against them!

    • phukyouk - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:33 AM

      LOVE IT!

  4. randomdigits - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    Honest question. If the car was stopped alongside the road how was he driving under the influence?

    • larryhockett - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:33 AM

      Circumstantial evidence alone can support a conviction. You, drunk, behind the wheel of your car with the motor running = more than enough circumstantial evidence to convict. It doesn’t say so but given that he took a swig of the bottle in front of the cop, I wouldn’t be surprised if he admitted he was driving, too.

      • randomdigits - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:45 AM

        I can see that but the scotch in the car could be in his favor. What if his argument is that the car started smoking, he pulled over, got pissed off then he started drinking? A serious drinker can do a lot of damage in a very short amount of time with a full bottle of scotch.

      • paperlions - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        ….because he just happened to innocently have an opened bottle of scotch in the car?

      • randomdigits - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        I am pretty sure he knows how to open a bottle.

      • larryhockett - Feb 17, 2011 at 10:00 AM

        That’s often the defense. Usually happens in connection with an accident. Defendant: “I hit the telephone pole and I was so pissed that I just started drinking this alcohol that I had in my car.” Depending on the toxicology and whether the guy made any statements to the police, it works sometimes.

      • rollinghighwayblues - Feb 17, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        I may be wrong but for some reason I think the motor doesn’t even have to be running to be charged with a DUI. I think if the key is in the ignition and a driver behind the wheel, it is valid to be charged.

      • larryhockett - Feb 17, 2011 at 10:53 AM

        That’s true too. In fact, the keys don’t have to be in the ignition. The question is whether the circumstances prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. If your car is in a ditch and you’re sitting by yourself on the side of the road with the smell of alcohol on you and an open container (or not) by your side, you’re more than likely getting taken for a blood test and then arrested. Whether you can concoct a story about the phantom driver who crashed your vehicle and left you there depends on how quickly you can think on your feet in that situation.

    • ngearhart1981 - Feb 17, 2011 at 11:12 AM

      If you are in the drivers seat of a car and it’s running and you’re drunk you can get a DUI.

    • homelanddefense - Feb 17, 2011 at 2:32 PM

      I believe you can get a DUI as long as you are in the car with the keys in the ignition

    • bigharold - Feb 17, 2011 at 3:23 PM

      “Honest question. If the car was stopped alongside the road how was he driving under the influence?”

      I’m not sure about Florida but in many states just being in the car on a public road with the keys on your persons while sitting in the driver’s seat and being intoxicated is enough to get arrested for DUI.

      The point here is this guy needs help before he destroys his career, life or worse destroys somebody else’s life. With all that is going right in his life, e.g. successful baseball career earning tens of millions of dollars, he is so screwed up he’s still willing to wad it up to get drunk, .. in public, .. in a car. The man needs help.

    • iftheshoefits2 - Feb 17, 2011 at 6:57 PM

      Some states have a “reckless operation of a motor vehicle- alcohol related” clause. Essentially, if you’re in contact with the vehicle, you’ve been drinking, you’re being reckless. I can’t remember, but I think there are levels- for instance, “control” is if you are in the drivers seat, keys or not.

      No idea if Florida happens to be one of those states….

  5. Jeremiah Graves - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    That sucks for Miggy, Miggy’s family, the Tigers, the Tigers fans and just about everyone. Here’s hoping he gets into rehab and it really sticks this time. A focused–and sober–Miguel Cabrera is an absolute monster.

  6. jhorton83 - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Looks like those claims that he had stopped drinking were a lot of BS.

  7. BC - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    Well, hopefully it was GOOD scotch. Like 18-year old Glenmorangie, which I swear by. Though I don’t pull over to the side of the road and pound it. Much safer and more fun to have a couple on ice while watching Storm Stories at home.
    Seriously though, this dude has big issues. Some rehab would do him some good.

    • anybodyinhere - Feb 17, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      You put ice in Glenmorangie? Talk about a drinking problem… ;-)

      • dluxxx - Feb 17, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        Really? But it cuts the malt. One cube should do, though.

  8. RickyB - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    He should have been drinking Hennigan’s — the no smell, no tell scotch.

  9. kinggeorge96 - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    You want to try a good Scotch, go for Highland Park 18 Year… too bad it’s only 9:50 in the morning…

    • BC - Feb 17, 2011 at 10:04 AM

      Highland Park is very good. My cousin got his hands on a bottle of 30-year old Glenfiddich a while back. REALLY expensive, but man, it was smooth.
      Probably should cut this thread off. We’ll only give Cabrera more destructive ideas.

      • cur68 - Feb 17, 2011 at 3:22 PM

        Lagavulin, neat. Make mine a double.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 17, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      too bad it’s only 9:50 in the morning

      Rule #76, no excuses, drink like a champion

      • BC - Feb 17, 2011 at 4:08 PM

        But it’s 5:00 in Helsinki.

      • kinggeorge96 - Feb 17, 2011 at 9:11 PM

        It’s not 9:50 anymore….. ahhhhhhh

  10. xpensivewinos - Feb 17, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    So is this going to impact the production schedule of Two and a Half Men?

    Oh wait, am I mixing my stories up…….

  11. Ari Collins - Feb 17, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    This is a tragedy, frankly. Both for his personal life (I hate to see anyone suffer from addiction), and for baseball as a whole. Miggy’s one of my favorite players. Good luck, man.

  12. SmackSaw - Feb 17, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Glad the Angels didn’t get him. Prediction: he won’t learn from this.

  13. Tick - Feb 17, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Well, at least this happened before my fantasy draft. You helped get me a championship last year, Miggy. You aren’t getting anywhere near my roster this season.

  14. Panda Claus - Feb 17, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    I always try to find motivating factors for this type of behavior in an effort to better understand.

    What we could be overlooking here is that maybe Miguel wasn’t taking Gary Sheffield’s retirement news very well.

  15. bigtrav425 - Feb 17, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    well atleast it wasnt maddog or colt 45 or some cheap ass stuff

    • BC - Feb 18, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      Or Night Train. Or even worse, Haffenreffer (which is German for “hangover waiting to happen”).

  16. babafolk - Feb 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    In Miguel’s defense the car might have over heated and while he was waiting for AAA, knowing he wouldn’t be driving anymore, he decided to have a drink.

    And as for saying”don’t you know who I am?” Mantle would’ve gotten away with that.

    • anybodyinhere - Feb 17, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      Should’ve been waiting for AA, not AAA…

  17. cflan63 - Feb 17, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Takin a drink right in front of the cop? Hooeee. Wish I could get away with that.

    • cur68 - Feb 17, 2011 at 8:15 PM

      Well you can’t & neither could Miggy. All this scotch talk has given me a powerful thirst. I must go play the highland games now…

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