Hines Ward Pleads Guilty To Reckless Driving

The Steelers star wideout runs into trouble in Georgia.

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Hines Ward Pleads Guilty To Reckless Driving Charge

Hines Ward was arrested on a DUI charge during the NFL Lockout in July. According to CBS Atlanta, Ward has pled guilty to a reckless driving charge and pled no contest on a failure to maintain a lane charge. Luckily for Ward, it doesn't seem like there will be very much of a penalty associated with the charges.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison but only had to serve one day, which he already served when he was initially arrested. The judge also fined him $2,000 and ordered him to perform 80 hours of community service.

It's still unclear whether Ward will return to the Steelers next year. Last season, Steelers fans already seemed to have forgotten the DUI incident, and it's doubtful this will have much effect on Ward's chances of returning.

Via Steelers Depot.

For more on this and all things Steelers football, please head over to Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Hines Ward Issues Statement Regarding DUI

After almost a week of silence, Hines Ward has released a brief statement regarding his DUI arrest on his Facebook page. Here it is:

Fans – I appreciate all the love and support. Thank you! It means a lot to me. I have a great respect for the legal system and am leaving things in the hands of my attorney. I can’t wait for football. I’ve been working out hard. I want to get back to the big show again this year. We have some unfinished business to take care of. So we will be ready to go when we are given the Green light. Here we go! Hines

There isn’t much new here, and of course, this is hardly a clear statement of innocence. The police records surrounding the arrest are pretty incriminating. My guess is that Ward will probably reach some sort of settlement. We’ll see how things turn out. This will be forgotten fairly quickly if indeed the lockout is ending, as Ward might be implying.

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Hines Ward Pretty Clearly Drunk During DUI Arrest, Police Records Suggest

The Post-Gazette has more details on Hines Ward's DUI arrest. At the time, Ward apparently reeked of alcohol, has trouble reciting a portion of the alphabet, struggled to keep his balance during field sobriety tests, badly failed a breath test, and had "glassy" eyes. Before being pulled over, he also hit a curb and several times switched lanes without signaling.

In other words, either he was drunk, or he's the victim of a massive frame job. It looks like time for Ward to explain what happened here, and that explanation should probably begin and end with "I'm sorry" or "I messed up."

Ward's reputation was in great shape earlier this offseason as he won Dancing With The Stars, but he's squandered the positive feelings he generated, and the more details about this incident come to light, the tougher it will be, particularly when those details contradict Ward's agent's stance, which was that Ward was not driving under the influence of alcohol. 

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Hines Ward DUI Police Report Released

A police report from Steelers receiver Hines Ward’s DUI arrest has been released, WPXI says. Atlanta police tailed Ward for four miles before they pulled him over, at which point police administered five sobriety tests. One of those indicated that he has a blood-alcohol content of .128, much higher than the legal limit of .08. They did not impound his car because he had a passenger who was sober and therefore could drive it legally.

Again, Ward is innocent until proven guilty. But this all seems pretty straightforward. The police gave Ward five tests and determined that he was drunk. At least one test showed him to be way over the limit. We’ll see how this turns out, but at this point, Ward’s agent’s statement that Ward “was not impaired by alcohol while driving” seems to be untrue. We’ve yet to hear from Ward himself on this. Unless there’s some crucial detail that hasn’t yet come to light, it seems like the best way to deal with it at this point is for him to just admit it and apologize.

Thanks to Steelers Depot.

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Hines Ward DUI: Ryan Clark Defends Ward Against Ravens' Ray Rice

Ryan Clark of the Steelers and Ray Rice of the Ravens are squabbling on Twitter about Hines Ward’s DUI arrest, James Walker notes.

Rice began the brief exchange by posting on his Twitter account: “Well it looks like Hines Ward will miss week 1 when the lockout ends DUI charge not a good look.”

I have no idea what a DUI charge “looks” like, and Ward isn’t particularly likely to be suspended, since he’s a first-time offender. But okay. Clark wrote back, “So glad you could Weigh in. Thx,” at which point Rice responded, “[Y]ou know how to find me.”

Clark replied, “I’ll find you! It’s not hard.”

Basically, this is all pretty mundane stuff from two athletes who were probably aware that the world could see them. (“Hope I didn’t seem like a turd,” Clark wrote later.) But don’t be surprised if this is a storyline when the Steelers and Ravens play in Week 1. Games between those two teams are always contentious, and this season should be no different.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Hines Ward Arrest: Georgia Police Allowed Ward To Drive Car After DUI Arrest

Now, I'm not a lawyer. But I have to look at a report like this and wonder what exactly really happened with Hines Ward's DUI arrest. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that Ward claims he only had two drinks, that there was a sober passenger in the car, and, most bizarrely, that police allowed him to drive his car after the arrest.

According to police, a passenger in Ward’s car had not been drinking, and he was allowed to drive the car instead of it being impounded.

Why in the world would police allow Ward to do this? Maybe it's just SOP in Georgia and police procedure there is just completely bizarre. Who knows? But I'd say that, even if folks weren't innocent until proven guilty, there's enough strange stuff going on here that it's probably best to withhold judgment until after we know a little more. Ward, through his agent, has denied that he was driving while impaired by alcohol, and on Friday, he wrote on Facebook that he often texts while he drives. It's at least possible that there could be more to this story than we realize.

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Hines Ward DUI: Reactions From Around The Web

Here's a survey of some reactions to Steelers receiver Hines Ward's DUI arrest, which came to light Saturday morning. 

Joe Starkey at the Trib notes that DUIs are a "big deal" and notes that this isn't the first time TMZ has broken news about a Steelers star doing (allegedly) something bad in Georgia.

Steelers Depot wonders if the NFL or the Steelers will punish Ward.

At Steelers Lounge, a lawyer explains the legal ramifications of Ward's arrest.

So, with that last caveat it would seem that Hines will likely spend a day in jail (maybe he could ask some Ravens or Bengals players for packing tips) pay some fines, pick up trash or do an infomercial for the state of Georgia then be on his way. The only real concern here is the probation requirement.

For those 12 months he had better be a total boyscout as a probation violation gets you in trouble very fast.

Kyle King at Dawg Sports considers Ward's claim that he's innocent of the charges, and wonders whether Ward's failure of a field sobriety test actually proves Ward was driving drunk.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Hines Ward's DUI Arrest Undoes Work Ward Did To Enhance His Post-NFL Career

Hines Ward really has to be kicking himself over his recent DUI arrest, even moreso than people typically kick themselves over DUI arrests. He's just weeks removed from winning Dancing With The Stars, and from a rally thrown in Pittsburgh to celebrate his victory. 

For Ward, Dancing With The Stars wasn't all about dancing. It was about fame. Ward once said that he "couldn't buy this kind of exposure." In participating in Dancing With The Stars, he was broadening his fanbase (and, specifically, targeting females) and changing his image (from a scrappy, blue-collar player who fans of many teams viewed as dirty, to something more wholesome). 

Right now, it's unclear what Ward was planning. Perhaps he wanted to do more reality TV, or become a football commentator. Whatever he was trying to do, he was doing a brilliant job of it, since Dancing With The Stars raised his profile to the roof, and almost all the additional exposure he got was positive

But with his DUI arrest, he undid all that. Now his best hope of making people forget is to succeed at football, but at his age, his football career could be over within a couple of years, and his best years are likely behind him.

It's the timing of this arrest that must sting the most. This happened right after Ward's Dancing With The Stars victory. What an awful lapse in judgment. 

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Hines Ward Responds To DUI Arrest

Hines Ward was arrested for DUI in Georgia early Saturday morning, and his camp is already speaking out on the star Steeler wideout's situation. TMZ.com talked to the recent "Dancing With The Stars" winner's manager, and he had this to say about the incident.

Ward's manager, Andrew Ree, tells TMZ, "He cooperated fully with the police and truthfully answered all of their questions. We are currently in the process of ascertaining all the facts. From our preliminary investigation we can tell you that we are confident that the facts will show that Hines was NOT impaired by alcohol while driving."

He went on to say, "However, Hines is deeply saddened by this incident and apologizes to his fans and the Steelers organization for this distraction."

"NOT impaired" certainly leaves some wiggle room for Ward and his people as this investigation moves forward. For now, though, all anyone can really do is sit and wait for the legal system to play itself out.

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Hines Ward Arrested, Charged With DUI

It's been an exciting offseason for Steelers receiver Hines Ward, who won season 12 of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" back in May. Things allegedly took a bad turn early Saturday morning, however, as, according to the Associated Press the four-time Pro Bowler was stopped by police in Georgia.

The former Super Bowl MVP and reigning "Dancing With the Stars" winner was booked into the DeKalb County jail just outside Atlanta at 3:41 a.m. ET and charged with driving under the influence. He was released on $1,300 bond.

The sheriff's office said it had turned over paperwork to the courts and couldn't release any further information about the player's arrest.

It'll be interesting to see how the team, and especially the NFL league office decide to handle this once the lockout ends. On one hand, Ward has a pretty pristine image and would be a first-time offender under the League's personal conduct policy. On the other, DUI is a serious enough crime that the NFL might be able to pursue a short suspension if it wanted to in the event Ward pleads or is found guilty.

Statements are expected later today. Stay tuned for SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest.

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