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Derek Lowe arrested for DUI

Apr 29, 2011, 7:57 AM EDT

Lowe_Derek

The Braves had the night off last night and Derek Lowe decided to use his time idiotically: he went out drinking and then decided to drive around. And he was arrested for his trouble.

He was pulled over at 10PM and took — and apparently failed — a field sobriety test. He refused the breathalyser.  He was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving and failure to maintain his lane.

No word on whether Roger McDowell bailed him out in what has been a banner week for the Braves.

  1. RedHeadedBastard - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    What an idiot.

    • florida727 - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:29 AM

      At the expense of being redundant… idiotic professional athlete. Millions of dollars. Hire a freakin’ limo driver for the night if you insist on getting hammered on your day off.

  2. droogleeddie - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:12 AM

    I demand a mug shot.

    • megary - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:28 AM

      Good luck with that. He’s a Brave and therefore only choir boy pictures are allowed here.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:40 AM

      I think it’s pretty clear that this IS the mugshot.

      Lawyers and agents are all about smiling in the pictures, apparently they’re taking it a step further and telling the players to just remain in uniform at all-times to show their dedication to the sport.

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 29, 2011 at 11:30 AM

      I doubt that’s possible. His handlers are now trying to keep all mugs as far away from him as possible. Unless they’re full of coffee—Irish is optional.

  3. fanoredsox - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    You can’t be an elite player unless you have a DUI on your record!

  4. opiedamus - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    “He was pulled over at 10PM and took — and apparently failed — a field sobriety test.” – Craig, you have no way of knowing that he apparently failed. Once he refused a breathalyzer, it is automatic they take you to jail.

    Until you read the police report, you won’t know the officer’s “version” of what happened. Until you see the video, you won’t know what really happened. It could be that he was over the limit or it could be that he wasn’t.

    Wait to judge AFTER the facts come to light.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:40 AM

      From the article…

      “The trooper “detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” and gave Lowe a field sobriety test, Wright said. Lowe refused to take a state-administered alcohol test, he said.”

      I believe that this is saying, for all practical purposes, that he failed the sobriety test. Otherwise, why would the trooper have then demanded an alcohol test? And why would Lowe refuse to take it? Unless I am reading that wrong, I don’t think what Craig wrote is out of line one bit.

      • droogleeddie - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:55 AM

        My question to that would be, if he had failed the field sobriety test than why would they require an alcohol test?

        I am not familiar with police procedure… is failure of a field sobriety test enough for a DUI arrest or legally do both need to be administered?

        And if he didn’t fail the field sobriety test and refused the alcohol test, would he still be arrested for DUI or is that another charge?

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 29, 2011 at 9:54 AM

        Refusal of the Breathalyzer means you automatically are guilty of DUI in most (maybe all) states. That was your only chance to prove you are not guilty of being over the limit. And with the other charges to back up probable cause “failure to maintain lane” “reckless driving” He’ll be found guilty for sure. Maybe a pricey attorney will be able to plea it down but they don’t have much if any leverage here. If the DUI is dropped you can bet he bought his way out through his wallet. Plea guilty to the two lesser charges and pay 10 x the fine does it some times. A high profile case involving a DUI will probably draw much scrutiny so I think Lowe is screwed though, he’ll be lucky to have the lesser charges dropped or downgraded.

      • heyblueyoustink - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        droogleedie……the first test lends towards suspicion, same thing as the strong smell of alcohol in the vehicle or the erratic driving. The breathalyzer is the second step in the process which gives the officer hard empirical evidence beyond the opinion of the officer……and truthfully, aside from helping them build a charge, it helps them maybe keep an idiot off the road for the rest of the night.

        If you agree to the breathalyzer, they then take you (at least in PA) for an actual blood test administered by a hospital to get a 100% accurate reading on your BAC so they can decide what level of charge you will face….as there are harsher punishments for higher readings.

        It’s all a process, just like most investigative police work…….except for Boston Creme selection

      • opiedamus - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:48 AM

        Chris: I undertand how it appears and your understanding of it, no worries there. However, as mentioned by “heyblueyoustink,” the officer uses the breathalyzer for empirical evidence. Field sobriety tests are very subjective. What one officer may see as a failure, another may not. It also depends on which tests he took.

        In Ga, you are not automatically guilty of dui if you refuse to take the breathalyzer. You automatically will be arrested and charged with a dui, but you are not guilty.

        @ Johnny5 says: “That was your only chance to prove you are not guilty of being over the limit. And with the other charges to back up probable cause “failure to maintain lane” “reckless driving” He’ll be found guilty for sure. Maybe a pricey attorney will be able to plea it down but they don’t have much if any leverage here.”

        Not true at all. The breathalyzer is the officer’s only way of providing empirical evidence. It helps the accused in no way. Blow below .08 and they will charge you with dui-less safe. Meaning, you were a less safe driver. Plus, the handheld breathalyzers are notoriously inaccurate. This is what the officer has at the scene. Blood tests are not given unless you ask or unless you take the breathalyzer and it shows .02 or less, then the officer will want a blood sample.

        “Failure to maintain” lane is a b.s. charge. Strong odor of alcohol is in almost every police report for a dui arrest. It has to be there.

        Saying all of that, there will be video evidence as all stops are recorded. Without video, it’s his word vs. cops and very tough to win. With video, if he appears not to have failed a field test or if his car maintained its lane and was not driven in a reckless manner, the DA will either try to settle for another charge, dismiss it for lack of evidence or, possibly, lose the case.

      • heyblueyoustink - Apr 29, 2011 at 11:03 AM

        But here’s the thing opidamus……..I get where you’re coming from, innocent till proven guilty, and I agree that many basic moving violations are pretty much bull to see what else might be there…….

        But why refuse the breathalyzer….in fact, if the excuse is some kind of rights infringement, then why go through the lengths of a field test when you can cut all the crap out and ask for the breathalyzer first. ( Unless of course there is a reasonable suspicion of medicating involved )……

        An innocent man never has anything to hide. Sounds like you’re a Lowe fan, and I always liked him from his Boston days, and while you make a few solid points regarding the inaccuracies of the machines and the opinions of the arresting officer, in the end, not cooperating with law enforcement at the very least screams of guilt…..the stat might be tough to find, but how many dead sober people refuse the breathalyzer? Why put yourself through the agg to follow for no reason……. it makes as much sense as a $32 million dollar wedding….

        Oh, wait…..

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 29, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        “Not true at all.”

        Well that’s funny… because I’ve seen what I just described with my own eyes before. So you’re definitely off. I am aware of differing laws state by state but refusal to submit to a breath test is equal to failing it everywhere that I’m aware of. Nobody would take the test if your scenario had any merit.

        “GEORGIA DUI LAWS” http://www.my-dui-guide.com/georgia-duilaws.html

        You DO have the right to refuse all field sobriety tests – the standing on one foot, the watching the pen (HGN test), the touching of your nose, the walk and turn, reciting the alphabet, etc.

        You DO have the right to refuse the breathalyzer, blood, or urine tests. Remember however, if you do this, you face a one-year suspension of your driver’s license

        The Legal Limit. The legal limit for driving in Georgia (and all other states) is .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Drivers can be pulled over and cited for impaired driving due to alcohol and other drugs regardless of BAC. Georgia does NOT have a zero tolerance law for anyone under 21.

        A DUI stays on your record for life. If a law enforcement officer asks you to take a blood or breath test to measure how much alcohol is in your system, you should REFUSE to take a breathalyzer test, but CONSENT to a blood test. Why? Because the blood test takes longer to get the results and it could be the difference between a 0.09 result and a 0.08 result. If you completely refuse, you are subject to similar if not equal and greater penalties for refusing.

        The last sentence says it all I think.

      • opiedamus - Apr 29, 2011 at 11:44 AM

        But here’s the thing opidamus……..I get where you’re coming from, innocent till proven guilty, and I agree that many basic moving violations are pretty much bull to see what else might be there…….

        But why refuse the breathalyzer….:

        Because, in the state of Ga, let’s say you’ve had 2 beers in the past hour. You’re racing down P’tree and get pulled over. The arresting officer can charge you with DUI-less safe. Simply meaning, you had something to drink, weren’t legally drunk, but the officer thought you were a less safe driver. Over the legal limit of .08 is DUI- per se. You just got a DUI for having 2 beers. Brutal.
        __________________________________________________________________________

        “An innocent man never has anything to hide. Sounds like you’re a Lowe fan, and I always liked him from his Boston days, and while you make a few solid points regarding the inaccuracies of the machines and the opinions of the arresting officer, in the end, not cooperating with law enforcement at the very least screams of guilt…..the stat might be tough to find, but how many dead sober people refuse the breathalyzer? Why put yourself through the agg to follow for no reason……. it makes as much sense as a $32 million dollar wedding….”

        The last line was hilarious, well said. IF a wedding costs $32M, how much would the divorce cost?!?

        It’s not so much black and white = guilty or innocent. There are many reasons not to fully comply with law enforcement. Not to say you are rude or disrespectful, but knowing you’re rights and making sure they are respected is one reason.

        The fact that the roadside tests and breathalyzer are not good indicators of your guilt or innocence is another great reason not to take them. That’s why you ask for a blood test if it is not offered. It’s not that you don’t want to prove your innocence, but the deck is stacked against you in this case.

        There was an incident just outside of Atlanta about a year ago. A guy took the breathalyzer, registered .00 (you read that right) and the officer arrested him for DUI-less safe because he didn’t believe the test was accurate. He “witnessed” the driver illegally changing lanes, driving at a high rate of speed, and failing to maintain his lane, and smelled a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle. The gentleman, surprised, asked for a blood test @ a local hospital. He was arrested, jailed, and bailed out. Blood test came back – drumroll……. .00. All charges were dropped.

        If an officer can arrest you because they don’t believe the breathalyzer is correct, then why would you even take such a faulty test to begin with?

      • opiedamus - Apr 29, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        Well that’s funny… because I’ve seen what I just described with my own eyes before. So you’re definitely off. I am aware of differing laws state by state but refusal to submit to a breath test is equal to failing it everywhere that I’m aware of. Nobody would take the test if your scenario had any merit.
        ______________________________________________________________________
        Jonny 5:

        You, basically, proved my point. You CAN refuse to take the tests. Just because you refuse does not mean you are automatically guilty of a dui.

        As to the last sentence, you are “subject” to, but that in no way means you are “guilty of.”

        Each situation is different, but refusing is in no way equal to failing in the state of Ga and some other states. In CA, I believe, it is, but not in Ga.

        “refusal to submit to a breath test is equal to failing it everywhere that I’m aware of. Nobody would take the test if your scenario had any merit.”

        Not exactly and that is why the video evidence is sometimes so very important. What the law states, literally, is that you “could” face a license suspension of up to a year. You “could” face a similar or harsher penalty…….or you “could” be found not guilty.

        You should refuse the breathalyzer. You should take the blood test. Which is basically what I said.

        In summary, you are not automatically guilty for refusing the tests.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 29, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        “In summary, you are not automatically guilty for refusing the tests.”

        I’m lost as to what your point even is at this point. Lowe is in deep Sh— with or without the breath test, pretty much. Count on him not being able to drive in GA for a long time. And rightfully so. Refusing the breath and blood test in GA is an automatic 1 year loss of license (contestable but you’ll lose), and you still will face the dui charge on top of that, which “more than likely” the judge will rule you guilty anyway. If your point is he has a 2% chance of beating the DUI, fine I agree on the remoteness of that. But really? You know as well as me he’s in a spot few people could squirm out of. The judge is going to have a field day with this guy seeing he was racing at the time as well. No leverage for Lowe at all.

        PS, we don’t even know if he submitted to a blood test as any GA lawyer would recommend. We were only told he refused the breath test. So there’s that too.

      • opiedamus - Apr 29, 2011 at 1:42 PM

        @ Jonny5:

        “Refusal of the Breathalyzer means you automatically are guilty of DUI in most (maybe all) states. That was your only chance to prove you are not guilty of being over the limit.”

        “I am aware of differing laws state by state but refusal to submit to a breath test is equal to failing it everywhere that I’m aware of. ”

        The above were your comments. My point, was that they are incorrect in the state of Ga.
        ________________________________________________________________________

        “Count on him not being able to drive in GA for a long time. And rightfully so. Refusing the breath and blood test in GA is an automatic 1 year loss of license (contestable but you’ll lose), and you still will face the dui charge on top of that, which “more than likely” the judge will rule you guilty anyway. If your point is he has a 2% chance of beating the DUI, fine I agree on the remoteness of that. But really?”

        I’ll agree w/you that, yes, he’s in a tight spot. Anyone arrested for a DUI is in for a difficult fight. I mentioned earlier, the way the laws are set up, you have to prove your innocence and not them proving your were guilty. It is a completely stacked deck in favor of the municipalities.

        The reality is that he will lose his license in 30 days. He will lose it until he goes to court. After the trial, he will either get it back immediately, lose it completely for a period of time (most likely not a year), or be able to drive on a limited permit to and from work.

        Your point, from your comments, was that he was automatically guilty for failing to take the breathalyzer. IF what you meant to say was that in all likelihood he will be found guilty, I can agree with you. The odds are that he will get a dui. Again, the way the laws are written in Ga, anyone stopped for suspicion of a dui is going to get charged and convicted.

        My point, simply, was that he wasn’t automatically getting convicted of a dui for refusing to take a breathalyzer.

      • clydeserra - Apr 29, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        Jonny, you are spectacularly wrong on the law.

        1) refusal does not mean you are guilty of a DUI. Many states departments of Licensing will automatically suspend your driving privilege if you refuse the state mandated test. This has nothing to do with the criminal case against you.

        2) the prosecutions ALWAYS has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt you are guilty of a crime. You don’t have to say anything.

        3) The price of your attorney does not foretell your outcome.

        4) Paying more does not get you “out” of a DUI. There are maximum and minimum fines.

        5) There is no right or wrong on what test to take, they all have their advantages and disadvantages.

  5. sdelmonte - Apr 29, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Mike Florio has a “days without an arrest” counter at PFT. I usually like to look at it and chuckle and say “ha, baseball players are better.” I should know better.

  6. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    Craig, why no mugshot? It screams double-standard. Show Lowe in all of his apparent douchiness.

  7. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    Guys, when I posted this there had not been a mugshot releases yet. Or at least I couldn’t find it. I’m traveling today, but if I get a chance today I’ll put it up.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      Haha, I read you were traveling (i.e. waiting) in ATH right after I posted this and then I figured I’d cut you a break. To make up for it, I fully expect you to make us all a collage of the DUI mugshots from 2011 when you get settled back in your compound. Happy traveling.

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:25 AM

      I’d tell them all to go pound sand Craig, but that’s just me.

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 29, 2011 at 11:33 AM

        That’s just rude, Jonny.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 29, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        I know, I’m such a deck.

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 29, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        A massive one at that.

  8. psousa1 - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    DLowe was probably saying “Hey, in Boston this was all covered up – what the f*#k?!

    • clydeserra - Apr 29, 2011 at 2:33 PM

      in boston, they have cabs!

  9. ralphdibny - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    “Braves starting pitcher Derek Lowe was allegedly racing another driver down Peachtree Road in Buckhead when he was stopped and charged with driving under the influence, a Georgia State Patrol spokesman told the AJC late Friday morning.

    “Troopers observed two vehicles racing on Peachtree Road and were able to get both vehicles stopped,” State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said.

    Wright had no information on the second driver, who he said was charged with reckless driving.

    Lowe, who was driving a 2011 Porsche Panamera, was also charged with reckless driving along with driving under the influence and making an improper lane change.”

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-braves/braves-pitcher-derek-lowe-929396.html

  10. spudchukar - Apr 29, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    A few clarifications. In Idaho and some other states, failure to take a DUI test, can and most often does insure you will be convicted. Here all that is needed, is the unreliable breathalyzer test. You are not entitled to a blood test, but could be forced to give one. The advantage to refusing to take the test is twofold. If it is your first and have the resources to hire a powerful attorney, it is possible to have it reduced to a Careless and Imprudent charge, still a misdemeanor, but not one that carries a harsher penalty for a second offense. The second “advantage”, comes with the severity of BAC, blood alcohol content. If you fear your reading may exceed .20, then it is wise to refuse. Here that reading alone can be a felony, particularly if it is not your first offense. A second, regardless of the severity of the BAC, can and has resulted in a felonious charge, and mandatory jail time.

    One last thought. Driving under the influence, particularly with a BAC of over .15 is reprehensible. Driving drunk, and speeding is beyond stupid.

    • opiedamus - Apr 29, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      @ spudchukar: agreed w/your last paragraph absolutely. In Ga., as in any state, failure to take the test can and often does insure you will be convicted. However, that is why it is, sometimes, very important to have the video evidence from the stop. If you have video that contradicts what the officer included in his incident report it is worth its weight in gold.

      Additionally, in Ga, just because you refuse, it does not equal a conviction. You will have your day in court. When you have a favorable video and no empirical evidence against you, you can win. In Ga, you can refuse the breathalyzer, but request an independent blood test. If you request it, it must be granted.

    • clydeserra - Apr 29, 2011 at 2:35 PM

      that can’t be right about “refusal = conviction.” That’s unconstitutional.

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