Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Jason Shirley was driving with a BAC of .12 last October while he was at Fresno State. He was finally sentenced to 30 days in a work program after he was convicted of DUI / DWI and hit and run charges. His first trial ended with a hung jury.
Shirley was originally arrested for driving his car into an apartment building and then driving off. He had failed his breathalyzer at the time. During his first trial, Fresno State coach Pat Hill took the stand and testified that Shirley suffered a concussion during a game against Nevada. The defense was that the concussion caused Shirley to make these bad decisions. That ended in a mistrial.
The second trial just concluded and after three hours of deliberation, the jury found Shirley guilty on three misdemeanor counts. He was sentenced to 30 days in a work program.
This time around, Shirley took the stand in his own behalf and admitted that he drank a 40 oz bottle of beer at a buddy’s house before getting into the car. He also testified that the beer didn’t make him drunk though two tests showed he was well over the legal limit. Shirley also officially testified that he had thought he ran over a curb at the time of the accident.
Although it may not seem that way, a hung jury is often a victory for the defense in a California DUI / DWI case. In many cases, the prosecutor will decline to retry the case after having difficulty convincing 12 jurors of the driver’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Bengals released a statement about Shirley:
“The club is aware that the vehicular charges against Jason Shirley, stemming from his college career, have been resolved against him,” the Bengals said in the statement. “He will likely complete the legal obligations required by the court during the offseason, and the club expects that he will do what he needs to do to put this incident behind him and contribute to the football team.”