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Jerome Simpson DWI

In another round of “sports figure disappoints” we have Jerome Simpson, wide receiver for the Vikings getting charged with two DWI’s. Two for the same incident, according to news reports.

The pair of DWI’s stem from his refusal to take a breathalyzer and the regular DWI you get from driving drunk. The breath test administered at the scene is preliminary and was 0.095 – enough above the legal limit to lead to an arrest. Later, Simpson allegedly refused a more accurate test.

The incident happened at four in the morning when police say his stalled vehicle was blocking lanes on I-394. Simpson failed the field sobriety tests and showed “signs of intoxication,” although he denied he had been drinking. The football player was released several hours later on $12,000 bond.

As scandals go, this isn’t a huge one, and Simpson may escape further penalties from the NFL. However, it’s still sad when one of our heroes turns out to be as prone to human foibles as anyone else. In the realm of addiction treatment, a DWI is a significant sign of trouble – even one DWI. The reason is simple: when alcohol becomes so much a part of a person’s life that driving drunk seems like an acceptable risk, there’s already a problem. DWI’s don’t “just happen.” There’s a context, a lead-in. If there is such a thing as responsible drinking, it very much includes making arrangements for a ride home or an overnight stay.

Unlike many of us, Simpson can probably afford to lose his license and get driven around. He can afford a great lawyer to argue his case. What he can’t afford is to ignore the role alcohol plays in his life. Let’s hope he takes this seriously and get’s some help. Thankfully, no one was killed or injured –this time.

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