Nets Coach Pleads Guilty to DWI

By Chrisanne Grise 07/17/13

Jason Kidd's punishment is speaking to high school students about drinking and driving. MADD says that isn't enough.

Is Kidd a "role model" to kids? Photo via

Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd has admitted to drinking "three or four" tequilas before crashing his SUV into a utility pole in the Hamptons community of Water Mill last July. At the time of the accident, the former NBA star was unsteady on his feet, smelled of alcohol, and had bloodshot eyes, according to the Southampton Town police report. As punishment, Kidd, 40, will have to speak to Long Island high school students about the dangers of drunk driving. If he completes his community service before he returns to court in September, his guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge will be reduced to a driving while ability impaired violation. "He took responsibility for that night," says defense attorney Ed Burke Jr. "Jason knows he was very, very lucky that night." Kidd could have received three years' probation, but Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota believes a better sentencing deal was reached. "He's a role model to kids and other people," says Spota. "And he's going to have the opportunity to talk to them about the foolish mistake that he made and the fact he took responsibility for his actions. That is, for me, more important than three years' probation." But Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said in a statement they are "very concerned" with the ruling, since Kidd will not be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on his car: "MADD urges every state to demonstrate that they take drunk driving seriously by passing all-offender ignition interlock laws and prosecuting drunk driving to the full extent of the law." In the US, drunk driving kills nearly 10,000 people each year and injures 315,000, according to MADD.

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices,,, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.