When Dallas Cowboys lineman Josh Brent flipped his car on Saturday, killing his teammate and best friend Jerry Brown, his blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit for the state of Texas.
According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, Brent refused a Breathalyzer test at the scene of the crash, but because the acident he had caused resulted in a fatality, police were within their rights to forcibly draw Brent’s blood against his will. When they did that, it has since been discovered that Brent’s blood alcohol level was 0.18.
The legal limit in Texas is 0.08.
That’s just a lot of alcohol,” said Richard Alpert, a veteran prosecutor with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office who also happens to be the leading national authority on drunken driving prosecution. “The real story now is where he was drinking. So we’d be following his credit card trail, we’d be checking social media to see where or if anyone was posting about his drinking.”
Brent has been charged with intoxication manslaughter, but was released from jail on Sunday on $500,000 bond, which is slightly more than Brent made this year in the third year of his contract with the Cowboys.
If convicted, Brent faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Brent’s defense attorney is arguing that while his client drew a 0.18, he’s not buying that as credible evidence. Per Brent’s attorney George Milner, it’s not what Brent drew after the alcohol had time to soak into his system, it’s what he had in his system at the time of the crash that should matter.
“If it was 0.18, then the question would be what was it at the time he was operating the motor vehicle?” Milner said. “Alcohol in your stomach doesn’t impair you in any way. But it takes time to absorb into the blood stream. So if you have someone who just left a club and recently had a drink, their blood alcohol level will continue to rise over a period of some hours later.”
It’s obvious that this is not going to be a case that goes over smoothly while it drags on.