Boston Red Sox minor league pitcher Drake Britton, participating in his first major league camp this spring, was arrested on Saturday morning on charges of reckless driving, DUI, and property damage. The tale of Britton's arrest is a harrowing one that should result in serious charges, but will likely conclude with a slap on the wrist. Here's the decription of his arrest, according to a report from ESPN.
The arrest occurred at 4:42 a.m. Saturday, on Ben Hill Griffin Parkway in Estero, which is adjacent to Fort Myers. According to the arrest report, Britton, who was driving a 2008 black Chevrolet Silverado (a pickup truck), was paced at a maximum speed of 111 mph in a 45 mph zone. With a police car in pursuit, Britton's truck swerved in between other moving vehicles and jumped over a curb, continuing down a small decline and knocking down a barbed-wire fence, according to the police report. Britton then allegedly continued down a dirt road for a quarter of a mile and attempted to pull into a wooded area before coming to a stop. When the officer approached and asked for his license, Britton first handed him his debit card.
According to the arresting officer, Britton's breath smelled of alcohol and he had slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes. Britton refused a breath test, but the officer said he admitted he had been drinking. He was taken to Lee County Jail.
That's some ridiculous stuff. He was going nearly two and a half times the speed limit, jumped a curb, and knocked down a fence while engaging a police officer in a chase. Of course, all three of the charges he was arrested under are misdemeanors (which seems like lunacy to me).
To their credit, the Red Sox scratched Britton from his scheduled appearance on Sunday, and optioned him to AA Portland on Monday. Regardless, the elephant in the room of DUIs among professional athletes is growing less and less ignorable, and something has to be done to educate these guys about endangering their own lives and the lives of everyone else on the road when they make these bad decisions.