Hines Ward Speaks Out (via His Attorney) About His DUI Arrest

PIttsburgh Steeler receiver and Dancing With The Stars winner Hines Ward was arrested Saturday for driving under the influence of alcohol. The 35 year old former Super Bowl MVP was in Georgia when the incident occurred... but Ward is emphatically denying that he was under the influence.

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver and Dancing With The Stars winner Hines Ward was arrested Saturday for driving under the influence of alcohol. The 35 year old former Super Bowl MVP was in Georgia when the incident occurred…but Ward is emphatically denying that he was under the influence.

His attorney Andrew Ree tells TMZ:

“He cooperated fully with the police and truthfully answered all of their questions. We are currently in the process of ascertaining all the facts. From our preliminary investigation we can tell you that we are confident that the facts will show that Hines was NOT impaired by alcohol while driving.

Earlier in the week Ward had admitted on Twitter that he has a bad habit of texting while driving, (which is both reckless and dangerous.)

His manager went on to say: “Hines is deeply saddened by this incident and apologizes to his fans and the Steelers organization for this distraction.”

If in fact Ward is charged with DUI, it might not have a significant effect on him in the way of punishment. In 2006, USATODAY did an unscientific study of professional athletes who have been arrested for various crimes, including drug use and driving under the influence. Not only did they find that their punishments were lenient, many of those who were ordered to perform community service were assigned tasks that could barely be viewed as punishment. (Throwing out a ball during a baseball game, speaking to students and signing autographs… things that might be considered part of their job anyway.)

Ward significantly increased his fan following by appearing Dancing with the Stars, which has an audience that is 70 percent women, while nearly 70 percent of football viewers are men. That increased recognizability is accompanied by a decreased ability to sweep scandal under the rug. Without question, Ward will have some fans ‘write him off’ immediately for this universally frowned upon behavior. It’s important to note, however, that Ward has not been convicted yet, and the incident will require further investigation (and likely legal negotiation.)

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