Abby Wambach pleads guilty to DUII

The Equalizer Staff April 13, 2016 36
Abby Wambach pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicants. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Abby Wambach pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicants. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Abby Wambach pleaded guilty on Tuesday to driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), and has agreed to enroll in a diversion program available to first-time offenders. The Oregonian reported the story. If Wambach meets the conditions of the diversion program she could have her charge thrown out after a year. She will require a breathalyzer in her car to prove her sobriety before starting it and she is expected to avoid drinking alcohol.

Wambach was arrested the night of April 2 while driving home from a friend’s house through downtown Portland.

In December, Wambach concluded a decorated soccer career that saw her break Mia Hamm’s record for most international goals of all-time. She retired with 184 goals and countless other honors. In July she achieved her long-stated goal of being part of the World Cup winning side.

  • guest

    Let the trolling commence!

  • Lindsey

    I kind of figured this was going to be the result but I didn’t think it would happen this fast. This is why people do not plead guilty at arraignment. Before arraignment the attorney does not have acces to evidence to ensure it is accurate and complete. They didn’t even have her lab results back yet at the time of arraignment. If she had pled guilty from the get-go then the DA could have tacked on a bunch of extra charges and she would have no choice but to accept that. Making her go through the courses is going to be so much more beneficial at making sure she learns her lesson than making her sit in jail or ask for rides for a while.

    • AlexH

      I don’t think a diversion course is enough to prevent a repeat offence or deter a first offense. I think that DUI convicts should suffer some public humiliation. In Abby’s case she should have to go to public soccer fields in a striped prison suit and pick up the litter and empty the garbage cans during a busy weekend of games.

      • Lindsey

        I agree that it would be more justified and I wish judges would be more creative about punishment, but I was mostly talking about the people that slammed her for pleading not guilty at arraignment when they don’t want to take the time to understand how the judicial system works.

        • I think diversion works fine for most people who aren’t alcoholics. Everyone I know who has had to take the classes, pay the huge fines, and drive with a breathalyzer for a year is absolutely terrified of getting caught again. It’s more than a slight inconvenience, and most people know that the luxury of going out to the bar again after finishing the program isn’t worth the expense and hassle of being over the legal limit and getting caught with a second offense. It’s obviously not going to stop habitual drinkers, but that person who has been arrested and been afraid and embarrassed probably feels relieved that they escaped with nothing worse happening and is probably not going to press their luck again.

          • Anna

            Agreed. And now with Uber and Lyft, there’s no need to drive home from the bar anyway.

          • Yeah, those services have kind of made driving to bars passé. Especially for cities without cabs or mass transit. She was at a friends house, though. She should have stayed the night. Hindsight, and all that.

            It’s sad, but I think most people have probably played the odds and driven over the legal limit, and just been lucky that they didn’t hurt anyone. I’d be in favor of a zero tolerance policy instead of the allowable limit, just so people don’t push it and think they’re “sober enough.”

          • AlexH

            However, a celeb doesn’t necessarily feel the pinch of the fines or the cost of the classes. Also, diversion doesn’t really deter the first offense, and people can die from a first DUI offense. Being publicly shamed does deter because the public sees the shaming and will not want it to happen to them.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            If you get to the point where you’re installing an interdiction device in your car, you’re an alcoholic Typically you have to get two or three offenses for that to happen depending on how good your lawyer is. So I would guess Abby already had at least 1 DUI on her record.. Which I would have guess before the incident anyway because Abby “likes to drink”.

          • I think it depends on the state. Some places install them on first offence. Possibly as part of a deal to avoid jail time or a larger fine. I’m not sure.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            yeah but i know what state you’re in and they don’t do that.

    • Steglitz49

      Petter Northug’s counsel cut a good deal for him and he delivered the goods for Norway but why on earth cut this has been so much slack?

      • Anna

        This is normal for a first offense. The breathalizer is actually unusual in my experience and must be required under Oregon law. Scandinavian countries have draconian DUI laws (and absurdly high-priced alcohol).

        • Dunks in USA

          No, they just value human life. We Americans tolerate mass murder through drunk driving.

    • guest

      will her labs results be made public? that might had further influence on the outcome.

      • Lindsey

        I would imagine if they found something else in her lab results that:
        1) It would have been brought up in court and the media that was there would have jumped all over it like they did when it was revealed in court that she admitted to doing drugs in the past.
        2) Her punishment would have been greater or even different from being geared towards preventing her from drinking and driving ever again. If she was under the influence of another substance at the time it would have proven that she lied to the police about the timeline of her admitted drug use and that she might have substance issues if she was driving around high and drunk.

  • newsouth

    .Another Wambach thread I will not touch because of my haters. What I will say is, it’s nice Great Icelandic is in Portland instead of Wambach, who wanted to play there. I believe they are both 5’11.

  • Steglitz49

    Let’s trust her counsel has cut as good a deal as Petter Northug’s did for him.

    It sounds like it on first reading. Eat your hearts out all ye ordinary folks.

    • Hwah

      Most first-time offenders are allowed into diversion programs.

      • Steglitz49

        Why not all?

        • Hwah

          Because some have other issues.

          • Steglitz49

            One law for the rich and one for the poor.

          • Hwah

            Well, sure. I’m not sure that’s an exclusively US problem. I am however sure that it is beyond the scope of this board, and I have no interest in this debate further on a sports blog board.

    • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

      No it doesn’t.

      Typically you have to get two or three offenses, for them to make you install a breathalyzer in your car, depending on how good your lawyer is. So I would guess Abby already had at least 1 DUI on her record.. Which I would have guess before the incident anyway because Abby “likes to drink”.

      I also don’t think it’s normal to plead guilty. Usually they suspend the verdict pending completion of a diversion program so that it never goes on your record in the first place. The whole thing is indicative of multiple prior offenses, it seems to me.

      Anyway, I hope she’s alright, she has a drinking problem and suddenly finds herself with a lot of free time on her hands and having lost the primary focus of her life since she was a child. I’d hope US Soccer could give her a team to coach or something. I’d hate for this to go all Lamar Odom.

      • Steglitz49

        You missed my point. That could have been my fault for overlooking how little beer X-country skiers are in the US in spite of Randall, Diggins and Gregg.

        Briefly, Petter Northug is recognized as one of the greatest skiers of all time. Among men, you must reach to the rarified air of Björn Dählie, Gunde Svan, Sixten Jernberg, Tomas Wassberg and Dario Cologna to find Petter’s equal.

        Petter crashed his car while DUI. He tried to get away with it. No way, Jose. With his counsel, Petter cut a deal. Petter did not contest the allegation but in return he got to wear his ankle bracelet after the World Championship in Falun in 2015.

        In Falun Petter delivered the goods and repaid his judge bountifully. Norway took 4 golds on the men’s side. Petter was responsible for all of them. All. Every one.

        Goats beware!

      • Anna

        I think you are making a lot of assumptions. State laws differ a lot in this regard. If she had a prior, I think we would have heard about it by now.

    • Gary Diver

      As I mentioned above, if Wambach can get her charge expunged, then she can treat it as though it never happened. How can you get a better deal than that! A year from now, criticizing Wambach for the DUII could be considered in bad taste. That is what you pay good lawyers for.

      P.S. One of the funny things about the USWNT-USSF conflict. People seem to believe that the facts will determine the outcome. Only in an alternate universe. In our universe, cases are determined by facts and lawyers and when it is a tie the win goes to the lawyers.

  • mskillens

    In case anybody was wondering Abby had BAC of .13 in her system.

    • Steglitz49

      Vow!

    • guest

      She recently admitted to using cocaine in the past as well.

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  • Gary Diver

    This is an aside. I assume the statement “If Wambach meets the conditions of the diversion program she could have her charge thrown out after a year” means that the charge could be expunged. In Canada there is a similar action called “absolute discharge”.

    It is my understanding that expungement legally means that the individual can claim the event never happened. So a year from now, if expunged, it would seem to be improper to criticize Wambach for the DUI.

    • ladywing

      In my State that expungement is only available to first time offenders.
      As for punishments, reading all the comments from the people who never liked her and the notority is surely a great punishment.
      There will be those who say “but what if she hurt someone”?
      Then her punishment would be much greater. That isn’t what happened though.
      It makes me truly grateful that I am little fish and I only need to pay once for a single mistake and not eternally in the Court of Public Opinion.
      And that I have cab fare.

      • Gary Diver

        Good points all around.