Hall enters plea to avoid jail time

Published 1:10 am Tuesday, June 2, 2009

BATAVIA (AP) — Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge in his drunken driving case, allowing him to avoid jail time.

Hall pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless operation of a vehicle. Clermont County Municipal Court Judge James Shriver sentenced him to attend a three-day program that deals with how alcohol and drugs affect driving.

The rest of his 30-day sentence was suspended. Hall also must perform 64 hours of community service.

The cornerback released a statement through his agent’s firm, Octagon Football, apologizing to his family, the community, the team and the league.

‘‘I have learned a very valuable lesson, and I look forward to the upcoming season,’’ he said.

Hall, a first-round draft pick from Michigan in 2007, was arrested on April 5 and charged with drunken driving and crossing the center line of a road. The Ohio State Highway Patrol said he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.149, over the state’s legal limit is 0.08.

Hall also faces punishment from the NFL under its conduct policy.

As part of the plea agreement, the drunken driving charge was dropped, along with the charge of crossing the center of the road.

The judge suspended Hall’s driving privileges for 180 days, but allowed him to drive to practices, to community service activities, to medical appointments and to grocery stores. He also was ordered to attend an outpatient program for substance abuse.