Judge Puts Bling On Drunken Giant
New York Giants offensive tackle David Diehl left Queens Criminal Court on February 11 with some added “bling”.
Diehl, who admitted he was drunk when he smashed his BMW into a pair of parked cars in Astoria last June 10, was fitted with a judge-mandated alcohol-detecting SCRAM bracelet before leaving court.
Queens Criminal Court Judge Suzanne Melendez asked Diehl, “Did you drive a car while you were intoxicated?” The hulking, 6-foot-5, 305-pound Diehl looked up at the judge and replied, “Yes, ma’am.”
Diehl, whose family came to the U.S. from Croatia, was downing drinks at Scorpio’s on Broadway near 35th Street in Astoria in the hours before the crash, while watching the Croatian national soccer team defeat Ireland, 3-1 in the European Championship, authorities said. Diehl had also been drinking earlier in the day, while he was at a charity golf tournament at the Westchester Country Club, authorities said.
Diehl left Scorpio’s at about 8:20 p.m. and crashed his BMW into two cars parked outside 31-31 35th Street, just one block from Scorpio’s, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Police, who responded to 911 calls, observed that Diehl was slurring his speech, his eyes were bloodshot and watery, he was very unsteady on his feet – and his breath had a strong odor of alcohol, a criminal complaint states.
Diehl, 32, of New Jersey, admitted to police that he had been driving the 2011 BMW after a day of drinking. An intoxilyzer test administered to Diehl after the crash indicated his blood alcohol level was .182 percent – more than twice the legal limit of .05 percent permitted by New York law. Diehl pleaded guilty on February 11 to aggravated DWI and impaired driving and is required to wear the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM) bracelet for 90 days. The plea is conditioned on Diehl continuing in the NFL substance abuse treatment program, paying up to $1,200 in restitution to the owners of the damaged cars and participating in an awareness program for first-time DWI offenders, where participants hear from victims whose lives have been impacted by a drunk driver. He is also not allowed to drive or apply for a new driver’s license in New Jersey for 90 days, Brown said.
Once Diehl has completed the two programs and made restitution to the car owners, he will be formally sentenced to a 90-day conditional discharge.
“Queens has a strict and very successful alternative sentencing program that emphasizes treatment and supervision of DUI (Driving under the influence) offenders in order to prevent recurrences of unacceptable conduct,” Brown said. “However, if the defendant, who is a first-time offender, fails to comply with all the requirements imposed by the court, then we will seek more severe sanctions.”
“Sir, please don’t drink and drive,” Melendez said. “Look what happened here. You could have been seriously hurt.”
Diehl could also face punishment by the NFL for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. A spokesperson for the New York Giants said team officials had no immediate comment on the sentencing or Diehl’s guilty plea.