Tuesday, June 24, 2008

DUI: Dizon Under the Influence?

As reported in a Colorado newspaper, Jordan Dizon is being charged with suspicion of DUI stemming from an arrest about 6 days prior to the draft. I've seen a lot floating around out there, good and bad, true and not, so I thought I would clarify what I can confirm.

First of all, he was not "driving" the wrong way down a one way street as many articles indicate -- he was parked facing opposite the one way after swinging around and parking to pick someone up. The officers never observed him driving.

No Cedric Benson rampages
No Lance Briggs crashing his Lamborghini and fleeing
No Bills RB lynch fleeing the scene after running someone over and then refusing to speak with police
No Javon Kearse weaving all over creation, running red lights and weaving about the road
No Leonard Little going 90 mph and killing someone
No Koren Robinson leading police on a high-speed chase

Also keep in mind before we judge, that re-tests on samples in Colorado conducted on back-up samples currently have a 15% rate of error -- meaning the original test was incorrect about 15% of the time. However, in Colorado, if you are "drunk" and the police believe that you have driven within 2 hours, you can still be arrested, charged, and convicted of DUI. (from Colorado Law section 42-4-1301{revised})

I also corresponded with a friend of mine who is in law enforcement, and had the following to offer:

47 states are now .08. Michigan used to be .10, but lowered the legal limit as National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), suggested that states do so.

The deal with Mr. Dizon will be in the definitions they use (Colorado) in the legal language. In Michigan, the person behind the wheel of a car is called an operator. If the car is operated and in a place accessible to the public, you are an operator. If you are over the legal limit, you are drunk driving, or OWI (Operating While Intoxicated, used to be OUIL-Operating Under Influence of Liquor or OUID (Drugs))).

Now, drunk on a road-OWI. Drunk, passed out in a drive way - grey area. Did the car leave a roadway? After an accident? Yes. OWI. No? Not OWI as the vehicle wasn't operated. Court cases.

1. Drunk, passed out at a drive thru of a fast food joint, car in drive, but foot on brake. Subject was drunk, place was accessible to general public, and the vehicle had been operated/still operating (or how else would he have gotten there) by the driver---OWI.

2. Drunk, passed out. Car running in a parking lot; subject says it was cold, car started for heat, never operated and he wasn't driving. No OWI.

Now, the big question is what he (DIZON) told police. Police already stated at the Preliminary Exam, they never saw him operating the vehicle. If Dizon said he drove there and parked and hadn't consumed anything since he parked---OWI in Michigan. If they don't have all three things, I'm sure he'll challenge. One, someone else could've drove. Two, he could've been drinking inside the apartment, and was getting ready to go, but never did. Or three, could've drove there, parked the car (sober), then consumed the alcohol while in the car or in the apartment, then got back into the car.

[He also gave a shout out to the Pack and how they're still going to win in Lambeau (can't say I feel confident enough to disagree at this time) along with a reminder that their soon-to-be-hall of fame recently-retired QB was hooked on painkillers for a while, but still showed strong football character and grit -- and said he (unfortunately for the Pack) thinks it was still a good pick on the Lions' part as Indy still would have nabbed him in the 2nd. Pretty smart guy for a cheesehead. ]

Dizon seems to be a pretty smart kid, except that he did what a lot of people do: misjudged how much he really had to drink. Two little margaritas are different than two "monster margaritas" at Red Lobster at Halloween Time. That doesn't make it right, but in my years of seeing the aftermath of how DUI's hit people, I will say they tend to fall into two categories:
  1. Those who only do it once, and are very careful after that. Typically, they are not making excuses, or trashing law enforcement, blaming others, etc.
  2. Those who just keep on doing it over and over. Typically, they have a whole host of excuses, none of which seem to involve cooperating with law enforcement or admitting "perhaps I had more to drink than I should have."

Not really any middle ground from what I've seen. Right now, it appears Dizon is in the first category, which is a good thing.

I do not condone drinking and driving, and think that you should never if possible mix the two. I never have, and probably never will, drink much at all. Not a religious thing, just a personal preference -- so I must admit I find it hard to relate to those who get DUI's; especially multi-millionaire football players like Little, Allen, Robinson, et al who could easily avoid it while still hitting the clubs: Hire a damn chauffeur. You can afford it.


CHIEFGER139 said...

i agree-get a taxi if need be-they'll come to your home and take you to the store. i think after they posted it on m-live millen and company knew about this before drafting him. makes you wonder what they mean by character guys-still say they need to define it so that little situations like this dont make them look like hypocrits when they look the other way. The way i see it is the character guys are the ones who put the effort out on football not the potential problems they have at home or in there personal lifes-time for coach rod to come out and say thats what he means or if not what he does mean by character guys.

Anonymous said...

For me, it's not really about the DUI at all...it's about the fact that he put himself in a position to get a DUI at a time when he knew he had to be REALLY careful (just before the draft).

I've been trying not to be TOO skeptical about the situation, but even taking in your analysis DF (which was incredible BTW, you did a fantastic job with that), I still think he should have known better.

Also, the fact that Cherilus got in a bar room brawl doesn't bode to well for us. I'm a little less worried about that because it was a year ago, but still, who gets in a fight at a bar when their still in college?

Marinelli really needs to reevaluate his rhetoric. I understand he's all about "football character", but part of any type of character should be about doing the right things, knowing when you're in a bad situation, and acting with integrity...be it in football or in any other way. If he's going to say he's looking for guys with football character he really needs to commit to that. Otherwise just drop the whole thing altogether and find some new talking points that won't open him up to so much criticism -- much of which is warranted in my opinion.


DetFan1979 said...

Streetworm -- Cherilus' situation was a lot different -- for one, he wasn't even drinking; essentailly two guys got in a fight, and they got caught in the middle. The person they tried to help was an off-duty sheriff. The fine was the minimum punishment they could receive since it "technically" wasn't self defense. It won't be publicized, but look for it to get dismissed entirely should he appeal (or he'll just pay the fine to avoid the hassle since the legal costs would come close to that anyway.)

That they didn't charge him with assault, or even any lesser chrages also tells a lot about the situation with him. He was at the establishment, which is more of a restaraunt/pub than a bar, with several of his teammates. They were frequent customers there, gathering for team dinners adn knew the man getting attacked was an off-duty law enforcement professional.

The links to most of those are in the earlier story on Cherilus.

DetFan1979 said...

I do agree with you on "football character" and putting yourself in a bad situation. Still, from what I've read it wasn't a "night of partying", or anything over the top.

I also agree I'm disappointed in hearing it -- it just puts more pressure on him to perform, and do it early.

I do think that, when you look at how Rod describes football character, sainthood is nowhere in there. Essnetially off-the field football character is not doing things that will keep you off the football field where you can't help the team. He's not looking for boy scouts, he's looking for hard workers that have a passion for the game.

I think you've hit it right on Chief.

He needs to clarify it a bit more, or we just need to stop making so many inferences. After all, there are a lot of Lawyers with "Lawyering Character" you wouldn't want to turn your back on... but you would want them on your side in the courtroom.

Necesity builds the strangest of bedfellows.

BTW - thanks on the compliment for the analysis. As I indicated, had help from friends in the know.

As for Cherilus and Dizon, as long as tehy don't turn into Chad Johnson and Chris Henry and Odell Thurman....then I'm fine. He's done a good job with guys who had screwed up once or twice (Joe Cullen anyone?) and helped them get their life back on track.

Lets hope that its a one-time thing case with these guys -- but keep on the skeptic goggles for now.

Anonymous said...


sounds like the kid had a few drinks, and didn't realize he was over the legal limit. Not a bad person, just a bad decision.

He cooperated FULLY. He didn't argue. He didn't get tasered, pepper-sprayed, batoned, beat down, or dragged to the jail. ((WHICH WE'VE SEEN/HEARD A LOT OF FROM FOOTBALLERS WHEN ARRESTED)).

I still have not seen enough to convict this guy. It's Colorado in April. How do we know his driver didn't walk into teh apartment to grab something, and he slid behind the wheel and started the car because it was cold out? Even if it was Dizon's car? Maybe covering for the friend because the friend has a past drunk driving?

There's a lot we'll never know.


Completely different situation than the "bar brawl" reported by the Street Worm.

Before drawing inferrences, please Google and read these things and draw your own opinions. My opinion is exactly that of detfan. Two guys got in a spat, and he and another teammate were in the middle of it. The one idiot took one last pot shot and it pissed off Gosder.

Can't say either of those changes the definition of "Marinelli Man". The one that confuses me is driving naked through a Wendy's drive-thru.

How is that a "Marinelli Man"?

What's worse, he was alone, poor Joe Cullen.

Kinda reminds you of the Ray Stevens song, "The Streak", while eating those wide-sized tasty strips of potatoe and a chocolate dairy treat.


CHIEFGER139 said...

cherlious may be more serious then det fan stated
i just posted this on m-live
just listened to the huge show-it appears cherlious grabbed the guy from behind and dragged him away from the fight and disposed of him but somehow managed to punch the guy and kick him when he was down on the ground-also managed to break his neck during the scuffle. of all involved cherlious was the only one fined to pay for the guys medical bills-sounds fair. i guess theres a pain and suffering suit (;iability case to follow) it was on a birthday party for cherlious from some bar-det fan 1979 said he wasnt drunk and he was simply trying to break up a fight but i think detfan79 got duked as well as all the media guys cause millen and company didnt tell them the whole story-dont go by my rumors-im sure this story will be out in the nedis soon if its true.
dont be too hard on the kid-it appears the owner of the bar is a sheriff or something and asked patrons who were probably drinking for a while to leave to make room for cherlious and other boston college players to have there party and like most of us got upset and the incident happened-if thats the case unless the boys were hitting the booze and drugs before they came in-cherlious would of been sober and what det fan79 said is true somewhat-the story of all this is not over-
eitherway despite me being pissed they didnt take mendenhal and took him i'll give the kid benefit of the doubt- ive had a similar situation my self but didnt hurt anyone or touch anyone-still got in big trouble for threats alone

DetFan1979 said...

Huge is not what I would consider a good source. If you go back to the articles I posted on my earlier blog with the news accounts of the proceeds, and follow-up hearings, Huge is taking a lot of liberties -- and also only citing the testimony of the "defendant" -- which differed form a lot of accounts. Not dissing you at all Chief -- It's Huge that is a blowhard good for nothing. And that's as nice as I can say about him.

Go back to this post:


The beat-up party changed his account twice -- but Cherilus was NEVER stated to ahve grabbed a woman, or broken the mans neck. Please note that in October, the charges were reveresed and the man was charged with assault himself.

Again, if Cherilus had done even half of what that blowhole Huge is stating, then he would be in jail or facing assault with deadly intent charges -- not paying a relatively small fine for being stupid and getting involved, instead of stepping away from trouble.

Also, none of these stories, unlike Huge (from what I've heard) stating Millen covered stuff up -- they have nothing to do with Millen.

ALso, if you look at the case this guy has been aiming for "pain and suffering" suit all along - and has already settled, with both sides agreeing to the sum (only 52k from Cherilus? A Multimillionaire? Again...read between the lines.)

Here is a boston globe link where, unlike Huge, they typically report news (as much as any large publication these days.)


My favorite line: "I learned not to break up anymore fights."

Keep that one close to mind Gosder, and you'll be a better man for this.

CHIEFGER139 said...

take it you heard the huge show too-he was interviewing brian van octen from m-live but as usual huge was doing all the talking

JJLions20 said...

I'm back from Alaska, and I have to chime in on the Dizon situation. You need to think how a kid in their early 20's think. They don't have the experience to rely on that most of us posting here have. Drinking Alcohol is a common occurrence for college kids, and happens multiple times a week. Driving a car is a common occurrence and happens multiple times a week. Sometimes they mix. And sometimes the kid gets caught. I'm not condoning drinking and driving, but the 20 something kid hasn't seen or comprehend all the risks of these actions. So the result in combining all of these things is a stupid mistake. Something teenagers though mid 20 year old people make an abundance of. This coming from someone who was once young, and from a dad who has watched some good kids with good character make some stupid mistakes.

Now as far as his legal situation goes, I think he has legal wiggle room. Since the Police did not test him or detain him immediately after he drove the vehicle, there is no way to prove he had more to drink before arriving back to the scene. Even if he told the police he had a couple of drinks, it does not mean he was over .08 as the police assumed. He could of easily had another drink, came back to the car and been over the legal limit because of the extra drink. It is going to be up to the prosecutors to prove he was legally drunk while driving the car, and I don't know how they can prove that. All they can do is prove he was beyond the legal limit before when he returned to the car.

Hopefully this will go away, and Dizon will learn from the experience that there is much to loose and many people can get hurt from his actions. Mixing Alcohol and driving is not something you need to stay away from. It’s part of the growing up process.