There is no doubt that the loss of a loved one can lead to significant grief. While some may respond to that grief by getting intoxicated, this kind of self-harm is never recommended and can lead to others getting injured. This is especially true when the grieving person has turned to alcohol and then makes the mistake of deciding to drive. The consequences of impaired driving can lead to more grief, particularly if that leads to injuring others. It can also lead to other penalties, including the loss of a person’s license, jail time, and financial penalties such as fines and the cost of legal representation. ESPN reports on how an Arizona Wildcat’s player says grief drove him to drink and drive.
On August 19th, Arizona Wildcats sophomore forward Ira Lee was cited for DUI after he nearly hit another vehicle on the University of Arizona campus. At the time of the incident, Lee had a BAC of .215, nearly 3 times the legal limit.
The following Thursday, Lee posted on Twitter, apologizing for his actions. He stated that he was driven by grief – his grandmother had committed suicide the day before the incident.
In his statement, Lee said, “Before all of these events I was already emotionally unstable and dealing with different personal issues,” he wrote. “The only person I can blame is myself because I knew how unstable I was and instead of seeking for help I turned to drinking which led to a terrible mistake.
“For the time being I will be focusing on getting back to the happy state I was once in and eventually deal with whatever consequences that come my way.”
According to court records, Lee is facing several charges, including failing to yield at an intersection, DUI for a minor, and extreme DUI (blood-alcohol content above .20%).
In a statement released on Tuesday, the university stated that the incident has been referred to the Dean of Students for review under the University’s student code of conduct.