Tampa Bay Buccaneer Eric Wright was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of felony DUI after an injury accident in downtown Los Angeles. Wright signed a five-year, $37 million contract with the Bucs in March.
Los Angeles police said officers responded to an injury accident near Staples Center at 12:20 a.m. Wright, driving a Mercedes XLS luxury sports coupe, was involved in a rear-end collision with a Chevy Silverado.
Wright told police he had been drinking at a friend’s house near Hollywood. He refused a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test. In order to successfully pursue DUI charges in this instance, prosecutors will have to prove intoxication based on witness testimony as to Wright’s driving, appearance and behavior.
According to police, he was charged with felony DUI because the accident involved injury. The other driver involved complained of pain but declined medical treatment. Wright was not injured.
Wright was released after posting $100,000 bail.
If convicted of felony DUI with injury in California, Wright faces sixteen months to ten years in California State Prison and an additional and consecutive one to six year prison sentence, depending on how many people were injured and the extent of their injuries. He could also receive a “strike” on his record pursuant to California’s Three Strike’s Law, between $1,015-$5,000 in fines, an 18 to 30-month alcohol/drug program, Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) status for three years, and restitution to all injured parties.
Wright could be subject to sanctions by the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.