Smith pleads guilty to DUI

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Associated Press

KETTERING - Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Justin Smith pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge and his driver's license was suspended for six months, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Smith, 25, entered the plea Tuesday in this Dayton suburb in exchange for prosecutors dropping a separate charge that he had been driving outside of marked lanes when a Montgomery County sheriff's deputy stopped him Oct. 5, lawyer Jeff Helms said. The plea agreement resolved the case in Kettering Municipal Court, Helms said.

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Judge Larry Moore ordered Smith to attend a three-day intervention course for drunken driving offenders. The judge fined Smith $300 plus court costs, Helms said.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis declined comment Wednesday on Smith's case.

Earlier Tuesday, the judge had rejected a defense request to dismiss the drunken driving charge against Smith.

David Jablinski, another lawyer representing Smith, contended there wasn't probable cause that Smith was impaired.

The sheriff's deputy said he saw Smith's truck weaving along the road. Smith told the deputy he had five beers, and he swayed while walking during a sobriety test, according to the arrest report.

A breath test found that Smith had a blood alcohol level of 0.152, the report said. The legal limit for driving in Ohio is 0.08.

Smith was the Bengals' first-round pick in the 2001 draft. He could have faced a maximum six months in jail and $1,000 fine on the DUI charge.