In case you haven't heard, former University of Washington defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu is in some hot water. The fourth-round pick was arrested Sunday for charges, as the Associated Press notes, that "include felony fleeing police, aggravated assault and aggravated assault by vehicle, as well as misdemeanor accident causing damage, resisting arrest, escape and DUI." The Steelers suspended the rookie today for two games without pay for his alleged indiscretions.
In layman's terms, Ta'amu is accused of crashing his Lincoln Navigator into multiple vehicles while drunkenly attempting to flee police. It's an embarrassing situation, to say the least, but as Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reminds us this morning, not Ta'amu's first DUI-related run-in with police.
Let's jump in the way-back machine and travel back to 2009, shall we.
As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes:
Court records show that Ta'amu also was charged with driving under the influence in October 2011 for an incident that occurred Dec. 12, 2009, when Ta'amu was playing for the University of Washington. Trooper Joe Gannon of the Washington State Patrol wrote in a report that he stopped Ta'amu for driving 73 mph in a 60 mph zone on Interstate 5 about 3:40 a.m. and "smelled an odor of alcohol coming from him and ... observed his blood-shot watery eyes."
Police said Ta'amu, who was 19 at the time, blew a 0.097 and 0.098 on breath tests and told them he drank six Budweisers in three hours before he attempted to drive home in a 1993 Chevrolet Suburban. Prosecutors initially charged him with driving under the influence, but he instead later pleaded guilty to negligent driving, for which he was sentenced to one day in a community-work program and ordered to pay a $350 fine.
So what has changed since 2009? For one, Ta'amu is now of drinking age. He's also, apparently, upgraded his ride since entering the NFL - going from a 1993 Chevy Suburban to a Lincoln Navigator.
One can only hope Ta'amu has upgraded his beer of choice as well, though, at this point, the defensive lineman would be wise to avoid Budweiser and all other alcoholic beverages - at least until he straightens out his priorities and realizes (as all professional athletes should) that he needs to use a non-shitfaced driver when he goes out boozing.