By Josh Katzowitz
Last July, Steelers receiver Hines Ward was arrested on a DUI charge, an incident that stunned CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman* because he seems like the exact opposite of the kind of guy who would get himself into that kind of trouble.
Ward’s lawyer denied Ward was impaired by alcohol as he drove, and seven months later, Ward has cut a plea bargain deal with the DeKalb County (Ga.) Solicitor’s office, which has dropped the DUI charge.
In exchange, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, Ward pleaded guilty Wednesday to reckless driving and no contest to a charge of failing to maintain lane.
Ward was sentenced to 12 months of probation (he’ll be allowed to check in with his officer on the phone or with email since he’ll likely be playing football somewhere in 2012), 80 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine. He’ll also undergo an alcohol evaluation.
*Ravens running back Ray Rice also was mighty displeased by the arrest.
Ward's lawyer, Andy Reed, released this statement afterward (via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette): "We are grateful for the outcome. By dropping the DUI charge, it is clear that the prosecution did not have sufficient evidence to proceed. Hines has always maintained that his ability to drive was in no way impaired and we are pleased that the facts supported his innocence. He is thankful to his legal team and to all who stood by him. Hines has a great respect for the legal system and is also grateful, in particular, to the state for the professional manner in which they handled this matter."
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