HAMPTON BAYS, N.Y. – Jason Kidd, Brooklyn Nets coach, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a misdemeanor DUI charge. He was placed on interim probation for a year after he hit a utility pole with his Cadillac SUV on eastern Long Island.
Kidd accepted to speak to Long Island high school students about the dangers of driving under the influence, in exchange for the guilty plea. He is summoned to court on 30th of September; if he fulfills his community service then his plea will be reduced to a violation, driving while intoxicated.
He could have received three years’ probation but Thomas Spota, Suffolk County District Attorney told about a better alternative outside court. Spota said, “He’s a role model to kids and other people. And he’s going to have the opportunity to talk to them about the foolish mistake that he made and the fact he took responsibility for his actions. That is, for me, more important than three years’ probation”.
Last season, Kidd retired as an NBA player and he was hired to coach the Nets recently.
On 15th of July 2012, Kidd smashed his SUV into a telephone pole in the Hamptons community of Water Mill according to the police. He suffered minor injuries in the crash and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Ed Burke Jr., a defense attorney, told that Kidd was returning from a charity function when the accident occurred.
Kidd was staggering; he had bloodshot and watery eyes. The officer smelled alcohol on his breath according to a Southampton Town Police report.
At the hearing, the judge asked Kidd how much he had consumed before his arrest and he replied, “A couple of drinks, three or four”.
Andrea Schiavoni, Town Court Judge said, “You could have killed yourself. You could have killed someone else. I hope you wake up every day happy to be here”. Kid nodded his head in response.
Burke added, “He took responsibility for that night. Jason knows he was very, very lucky that night. He was very lucky no one was hurt”.
Burke said that Kidd recently purchased a vacation home in Water Mill and wants to become part of the community there.
Kidd was taken into custody on a domestic violence charge in 2011 when he was playing with Phoenix.
Regarding Kidd's case, MADD said in a statement, “MADD urges every state to demonstrate that they take drunk driving seriously by passing all-offender ignition interlock laws and prosecuting drunk driving to the full extent of the law”.