NFL’s Hines Ward feared DUI arrest getting out

By Christopher Seward
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
One of Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward’s worst fears was realized last summer when he was arrested in DeKalb County on a DUI charge: The word got out.
Dash cam video from the police car used to transport the former UGA receiver to jail July 9 shows him repeatedly asking the officer whether newspapers and especially ESPN would find out about the charge of driving under the influence.
In the video, obtained by TMZ, Ward is seen handcuffed in the back seat, hunched forward and questioning the officer through a protective see-through partition about whether his arrest will be in the media.
“Is this going to be all in the newspaper?” Ward asked. The officer responded, “Only if you tell somebody.”
Unconvinced, Ward then told the officer, “No, I already know ESPN. They always be looking for [expletive] like that.”
The officer responded, “They have to know to look,” to which Ward responded, “They look every night.”
Efforts were made Tuesday to reach Ward for comment.
Ward was clearly upset about the prospect that word would get out.
“Oh, my goodness,” he said at one point.
“Please, sir, I already know how y’all gonna put it out like that,” Ward said to the officer. “Don’t put it out like that.”
He later returned to the prospect of ESPN finding out, saying, “They’re gonna have me all up on ESPN and stuff.”
At one point, Ward appears to be dozing off during the ride.
DeKalb police stopped Ward around 2:30 a.m., July 9, on Buford Highway near Briarwood Road. The officer said the player, driving an Aston Martin,  failed to maintain his lane and hit a curb.
Ward told police he had been at a downtown club, where he had two drinks. The player failed a field sobriety test and refused to take a breathalyzer test, and was taken to jail, authorities have said.
The NFL player maintained his innocence. After his arrest, Ward’s Atlanta attorney Andrew Ree said facts would show the player was not impaired by alcohol and that Ward was “deeply saddened” by the incident and he apologized for “the distraction.”
The DUI charge was dropped in February after Ward pleaded guilty to reckless driving. He received 12 months of probation, was fined $2,000 and must complete 80 hours of community service. He is also required to undergo an alcohol evaluation and participate in a risk reduction program.
While at the University of Georgia from 1994-97, Ward had 149 receptions for 1,965 yards — second in team history.
He was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 1998 NFL draft.
In 2006, Ward was named the MVP of Super Bowl XL after catching five passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers’ 21-10 win.
Ward also won season 12 of TV’s “Dancing With The Stars.”
One can’t blame him for worrying about the ramifications of a DUI.  But, records of adult arrests are always public record.  With websites that post mug shots and local periodicals that list offenders were sure to pick up on the arrest.
We here at North Buckhead Driving and DUI School are trying to make the roads a little safer.  We have weekly DUI / Risk Reduction Classes as well as Defensive Driving Classes.  You can sign up by calling our office at (678) 510-2099 or by visiting our website at and using our secure registration system
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