Al Michaels, the NFL broadcaster, was allegedly arrested on suspicion of DUI on Friday night. Michaels was reportedly detained at a routine DUI checkpoint in Santa Monica, Calif., on Friday night at about 10 pm.
Officers detected an odor of alcohol on Michaels during the stop and administered a field sobriety test. He evidently didn’t fare so well on the test and was then placed under arrest. His blood alcohol level reportedly hovered at about .08 which is the legal limit and probably roughly equivalent to just having a couple of drinks. Michaels was released from jail early Saturday morning.
Michaels, one of the most recognizable play-by-play broadcasters in the country, called NFL games for ABC Monday Night Football for about 20 years. In 2006, he jumped to NBC Sports to broadcast the Sunday night featured NFL game. He has also been a play-by-play voice for the World Series and NBA basketball and famously was behind the mike during the “Miracle on Ice” US Hockey Team victory in the 1980 Winter Olympics.
A police spokesman said that Michaels was “extremely cooperative” during the arrest and subsequent detention at the Santa Monica City Jail. He is due back in court on June 26.
This is not to minimize in any way the dangers posed by drunk driving. Michaels, however, was reportedly barely above the legal limit and probably won’t face any significant legal consequences. One sports website nevertheless argues that the Al Michaels DUI stop should be considered more serious than it seems on the surface: “Michaels was near the legal limit, but any headline involving a DUI can’t be treated flippantly. This is certainly a black eye for Michaels and for NBC. The veteran broadcaster shouldn’t have many assignments for NBC until the NFL preseason kicks off in August, so time will tell whether NBC feels the need to discipline Michaels for his arrest. Professional leagues have fallen under scrutiny for their lack of discipline for something as serious as DUI, but what will happen when it’s one of the top broadcasters in America?”
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