We’ve all had those nights where we kind of just accepted whatever liquid was placed in front of us at a party at face-value without the realization that it was probably going to be stronger than we anticipated. Jungle juice, malt liquor, a mixed drink concocted from half a bottle of bottom-shelf liquor and a few drops of store brand cola. It happens. Part of life. However, when it does happen, you should at least have the presence of mind to ride it out somewhere that isn’t behind the wheel of a car. Which is exactly what rising UGA sophomore Jonathan Ledbetter did not do.
“Jonathan Ledbetter was arrested early Sunday morning on misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence and underage alcohol possession, his second alcohol-related arrest this year. Ledbetter, 18, was released from jail Sunday morning on a $2,000 bond — $1,500 for the DUI charge and $500 for the underage possession charge — following his booking by Athens-Clarke County police.
“First I want to apologize to my family, my teammates and coaches, the University and the Bulldog Nation,” said Ledbetter in a statement released Monday. “I have a problem and have received an incredible amount of support and treatment through the Athletic Department for the problem. For that I am thankful. I ask for everyone’s support as I continue to receive additional treatment for this disease and work toward a healthy life.”
A sophomore, Ledbetter was initially suspended for Georgia’s season opener against North Carolina after he was arrested in March on misdemeanor alcohol charges, but coach Kirby Smart has been vague about whether the suspension would stand after those charges were dropped. At the time, Smart said Ledbetter “made a huge mistake” and embarrassed himself, his family and his team following the March incident.”
You know what’s more embarrassing than being arrested for an alcohol related charge mere months after you promised you would never again be arrested for an alcohol related charge? Copping to the fact that you’re a lightweight.
Via Online Athens:
“Athens-Clarke County police responded to the scene Sunday at Barnett Shoals and Lexington roads around 5:30 a.m in the latest incident. Police parked a car in front of Ledbetter’s “so that the white (Dodge Avenger) vehicle wouldn’t roll into oncoming traffic.” Police said Ledbetter appeared to be asleep but was “breathing and drooling.”
The vehicle was in drive and his foot slightly on the brake pedal. Ledbetter did not wake up after numerous knocks on the window, yelling out for him to wake up and shaking the car, according to the report. Four officers total and EMS arrived on scene and attempted to wake Ledbetter up, even turning on a siren. After 20 minutes of being unable to get Ledbetter to respond, police eventually were able to open the door with a “lock jock.” Police after several more attempts woke up Ledbetter, who said he had not been sleeping. Police smelled the odor of alcohol. Ledbetter, a sophomore from Stone Mountain, said he had been drinking.
“Yes sir, I’m home,” he said. Police told Ledbetter he wasn’t home. He told them he had been drinking downtown around 12-12:30 a.m. He said he had two Bud Light Platinum’s.”
Listen, I’ll give Ledbetter the benefit of the doubt here. Those Platinum’s do have a habit of sneaking up on you. But, unless he chugged them both moments before getting in the car on 3 day empty stomach, he should have been able to make it home before falling asleep. If you’re going to cop to have drunk anything, say you drank a Mad Dog 20/20. Three sips of that bad boy and you’re stumbling over your own two feet. I think Ledbetter was just drunk as shit, knew that he was up shit’s creek and was floundering for a paddle. As is further evidenced by the argument he made to police officers as to why he should be allowed to leave.
“Police conducted a field sobriety test on Ledbetter and then asked him if he would be willing to take a breath test. He asked if he had passed the other.
“I explained to Mr. Ledbetter that I was asking him if he would submit to a breath test and that I needed a yes or no,” the report said. “He proceeded to explain that he knows what’s going on in the world now with cops shooting black people and he also said that he wanted to know if he passed the test or not so that he could take his boys home. There was no one in the car except for Mr. Ledbetter when I arrived on the scene. He also says he feels like this is a hate crime.”
Ledbetter told police he would submit to a breath test, but said he “plays football for UGA and that he does not need to get into any more trouble because he is going to get kicked off of the team and that he needs to provide for his mother and family.”
He then declined to take a breath test because “I know I’ve been drinking alcohol.” An officer instructed him to put his hands behind his back and Ledbetter decided to take the breath test. He registered a .131 and .138. Blood alcohol level of 0.02 grams is standard for DUI in an offender who is under 21.”
When you pull the ‘I already took a breath test, you must have lost it’ card, the ‘I play football’ card and the ‘#BlackLivesMatter’ card in consecutive order, you know you’re sunk. Especially if you follow it up with a BAC that’s nearly 7x times the legal limit for someone your age. Ledbetter should have just said that he accidentally tripped and swallowed an entire bottle of mouthwash and was trying to drive himself to the hospital. Maybe then it would also help him explain why he thought he had a car full of his boys but was in fact piloting an empty vessel. (P.S. – My hot take on the absence of his boys? He fell asleep behind the wheel and they ran off so they didn’t get in trouble too. Because friendships are important, but so are college scholarships.)