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Should the NFL impose harsher DUI penalties on players?

Many of our Annapolis DUI blog readers probably heard about the fatal drunk driving accident that took place this weekend involving two members of the Dallas Cowboys football team. There are many tragic elements to that story. Not only was Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown killed in the single-car accident, but the person who was driving that car was Brown's teammate and good friend, defensive tackle Josh Brent. To say that the accident was a tragedy is a huge understatement.

The fatal accident has once again raised questions about the NFL and its handling of football players who are arrested or convicted of drunk driving. This was not Brent's first DUI-related incident, and many believe that the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell and Cowboys officials should have done more to prevent incidents such as this one from taking place.

Merril Hoge, a former NFL player and current ESPN analyst, believes that Goodell and the NFL should take a harsh stance on drunk driving and DWI arrests. "I think the National Football League needs to take a no-tolerance policy in this situation," he said. "In college, if you have a DUI, you are not eligible to come to the National Football League. If you have one while you are playing in the National Football League, you are immediately done in the NFL."

What do you think? Do you agree with Hoge? The NFL and the NFL Players Association both have programs guaranteeing players free rides home if they have been drinking, and many players have their own personal drivers. And yet drunk driving arrests and accidents continue to take place. Does more need to be done?

Source: Rant Sports, "It's Time for the NFL TO Take a Serious Stand on DUI," Michael Collins, Dec. 10, 2012

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