Jason Cole at Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Cleveland Browns wideout Donte’ Stallworth could beat a DUI manslaughter charge based on a technicality in the Florida legal code. Stallworth, you’ll remember, was finally charged six weeks ago after mowing down a pedestrian in March and subsequently blowing a .126 on the drinky-meter:
According to Florida’s DUI manslaughter law, there are exceptions under what is called “causation” of an accident. In short, someone who is driving drunk and causes an accident is not necessarily responsible if the other party did something to contribute to the accident. Florida statute 316.119 was changed in the 1980s to reflect that after a state Supreme Court judge ruled that the state’s previous strict liability standard on drunken drivers was essentially unfair.
The exception is based on the idea that if a drunken driver stopped at an intersection was hit by another car and the driver of the other car died, the drunken driver should not be held responsible.
The issue of “causation” would be satisfied in that the pedestrian was jaywalking when Stallworth hit him. Stallworth, who is scheduled for arraignment today, could see any jailtime fall from up to 15 years down to a matter of months. I guess that’s why they paint those white lines at street corners. Maybe this will serve as a message to all those jagoffs that jaywalk really slowly right in front of my approaching car. One of these days, I’m just gonna roll over one of those people. And don’t that little fake jog pretending to get out of the way, either. Unless you have enormous breasts. In which case, hey baby, what’s your hurry?