A former major leaguer was arrested and jailed Friday after a judge revoked his bond. Jim Leyrtiz was arrested for violating his pretrial release on a DUI manslaughter charge, authorities said. Prosecutors filed a motion earlier that week to attempt to jail him as he awaited trial in Fort Lauderdale.
Authorities installed a breath alcohol ignition interlock device into Leyritz’s car. As procedure with the system, he has to blow into the device before starting the car and periodically while driving. The results are then recorded and showed that he consumed alcohol four times since the device was installed in April 2008. Under the terms of his release, he is not permitted to drink any alcohol and therefore violated the agreement. His trial is set for May 25th and if convicted, he will face up to 15 years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty and his attorney, J. David Bogenschutz, said Friday his client’s arrest stems from a misunderstanding. He filed a motion Friday afternoon seeking to have Leyritz released pending an emergency hearing.
Bogenschutz said that as part of Leyritz’s pretrial release, he initially had to submit to multiple daily alcohol tests on a home device. That order was changed in April 2008, allowing Leyritz to drive but only if the breath device was installed in his vehicle.
After the change, officers charged with monitoring Leyritz told him they would no longer be supervising him.
“So he believed at that point, because he now had a machine in his car, it was OK to drink, but that he’s just not going to be able to drink and drive because the car is going to turn off,” Bogenschutz said.
Bogenschutz said Leyritz has used the vehicle breath device some 4,000 times with only four registered alcohol incidents. He said that since the latest incident in January, authorities have made it clear to Leyritz that he is still not allowed to consume any alcohol — and Leyritz hasn’t.
“He really shouldn’t be held responsible,” Bogenschutz said. “It’s a little disturbing.”