It Can Happen to Anyone: Mizzou Coach Gary Pinkel Arrested for DWI

Ever think you’ll never get a DWI?  Think again.

The head football coach for the Missouri Tigers, Gary Pinkel, was arrested Wednesday night for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Pinkel was stopped by a Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy on Keene Street in Columbia at about 10:15 p.m. for improper lane and signal usage.  I wouldn’t want to be that Deputy.

Pinkel was taken into custody and transported to Boone County Jail where he was released after posting a $500 bond.  He apparently hasn’t been given any special treatment, as the same procedures have been applied to him that are applied to similar defendants.

Gary Pinkel did make a statement: “Last night, after practice, I met some friends for dinner. After dinner, I was stopped by a Boone County officer and received a citation for impaired driving. First and foremost, I am very disappointed in myself for my lack of judgment in this instance. Nobody should drink and drive, including me. My staff and I constantly reinforce with each of our players the importance of not putting yourself into a position such as this. I did not follow that here and for that, I sincerely apologize to the University of Missouri, to our administration, to the Board of Curators and to our fans. I have already met with our staff and communicated with our players and have apologized to them. I accept full responsibility for my actions and will abide by whatever course of action our leadership deems appropriate.”

The next step is for the sheriff’s department to compile its reports and present them to the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, which is standard procedure in considering whether to file formal charges. This is Pinkel’s first offense, which means that the penalty will be rather low if he is charged.

Missouri athletic director Mike Alden also gave a statement: “We are extremely disappointed in Gary’s lack of judgment. He is known as a man with great character and integrity. However, this absolutely goes against everything we stand for, and everything that he teaches his players in regards to our social responsibilities. We hold ourselves to very high standards, and this is a very serious breach of those responsibilities. We are gathering facts and will take action appropriately, and when those actions are determined, we will communicate them publicly.”

The takeaway is that this could happen to anyone. Even after having a couple drinks with friends, you could be over the limit. Fortunately for Pinkel, he will have access to all the legal resources he needs to minimize the impact of this on his personal and professional life.

If this happens to you, you should also hire a DWI attorney.