A former Yankee and Mets ball player was recently collared by New Jersey police on charges of driving under the influence of drugs. According to news reports, 45-year-old Dwight Gooden — major league baseball ace pitcher — was allegedly operating a motor vehicle in a drug-impaired condition with a child riding as a passenger.
As a New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyer, I know how serious this kind of charge can be, especially when a minor child may have been knowingly or unknowingly put in jeopardy because of the driver’s actions. This is why I always recommend that people who are accused of DWI, drug DUI, breath test refusal or other traffic offense tied to driving while impaired contact a qualified legal professional as soon as possible.
In this case, Gooden was placed under arrest on a Tuesday morning for the drug DUI offense as well as reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. The fact that the man may have been involved in a possible accident makes the situation that much more critical.
Police reports show that Gooden was involved in a traffic accident just before 9am while driving his five-year-old son to school. The accident occurred in Franklin Lakes, NJ, on Old Mill Road, after which Gooden apparently drove off. News reports indicate that the man has already served jail time in the past for drug abuse.
Police have lodged a list of charges against the former MLB pitcher, including being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), endangering the welfare of a child, DWI with a child passenger, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, failure to keep right and failure to notify change of address regarding driver’s license. The police reportedly would not disclose the type or kind of drugs that were involved.
Dwight Gooden Busted for DWI in New Jersey, NBCNewYork.com, March 24, 2010