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Posted on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 9:32 a.m.

Michigan football player Darryl Stonum pleads guilty in drunken-driving case

By Lee Higgins

Michigan wide receiver Darryl Stonum pleaded guilty this morning in 15th District Court in Ann Arbor to operating while visibly impaired second offense.

Stonum, 21, who has been suspended from the team, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors that calls for a charge of driving with a suspended license to be dismissed.



Stonum was arrested at 2:25 a.m. May 6 by University of Michigan police after a traffic stop on State Street.

He said in court this morning that a breath test at the police station revealed he had a blood-alcohol level of .11. Another test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of .13, he said.

In Michigan, it's illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher.

Stonum, who is from Stafford, Texas, and entering his senior year, is scheduled to return to court next Friday.

It's not the first time he's been in legal trouble. In September 2008, during his freshman year, police charged him with operating a vehicle while visibly impaired, and he was subsequently jailed for three nights in July 2010 for multiple probation violations.

Stonum has been out on a $500 personal recognizance bond in the most recent case and is required to submit to a breath test each day by 8:30 a.m. at the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety.

He is facing up to a year in jail when he is sentenced.

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke suspended Stonum after the arrest and released a statement that said Stonum must "fulfill all his commitments he has to the legal system and our program" before being considered for reinstatement.

“Darryl made a poor decision that is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated,” Hoke said in the statement. “This is a serious situation. We are disappointed and any athletic department discipline will be handled internally. We will provide the appropriate support and counseling in order for him to learn and grow from this mistake.”

Lee Higgins is a reporter for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at



Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

I haven't read all the comments. However I must say, aside from facts and figures and what happened to cause the charges most comments seem to be reflecting one simple fact, this could have been avoided. I would think if anyone is smart enough to be a student at the U, with a car and on one of the (if not the) most prestigious football teams in the world, they would be able to understand the importance of two simple words; 'designated driver'. Having friends that don't drink can be a real good thing. These are very sad and very preventable events. The brighter side is no other drivers or other people on the roads were injured. We all make mistakes and sometimes we make bad choices. Fortunately, most of us can still learn from the misfortunes of others.


Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 3:44 a.m.

This guy endangered many lives by driving drunk twice and on a suspended license. Why was that charge dropped? Our justice system makes no sense. He was caught driving on a suspended license AND caught driving while intoxicated. He needs to be given consequences for all of his convictions. If he gets a slap on the wrist, he will continue to believe he is a privileged guy and can operate outside of the law. He needs to be kicked off the team and out of UM, and serve jail time. He should also not be allowed to get a driver's license for at least 12 months. 44,000 people die in traffic accidents every year in the US, and a third of them involve alcohol. This guy will contribute to that statistic unless he is taught some serious lessons, which is more than attending a few AA meetings. If he is allowed to continue on the UM football team, I will lose a lot of respect for Coach Hoke.


Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 12:41 a.m.

Kid has three strikes. DUI Probation Violation DUI It will be interesting to see how Hoke handles this..


Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 12:03 a.m.

Please note that he shouldn't have been driving in the first place since his license had been suspended. That fact as well as his driving under the influence shows that he has no regard for the law or feels that he is above it. In my opinion they not only should give him a good jail sentence But he should be given some strict requirements to come back on the team. Just think if the state would confiscate the vehicles of people that drive on a suspended drivers license there would be less problem from it.

richard watkins

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

You don't want to stand in the way when readers start jumping to conclusions. The idea that the same blood alcohol level will have the same effect on physical reflexes and mental judgements of two different people is, of course, preposterous. It is the law, however. This says volumes about the law, of course, but it tells us nothing about Darryl Stonum and his fitness to drive on the night in question.


Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 2:56 a.m.

The campus police needed to have some reason to stop him. Since they didn't charge him with any crime that would be visible from outside the car (e.g. a broken tail light) it seems likely that he was stopped for driving erratically.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

LOL. Come on people. Where are all you haters that in OSU or MSU has a student convicted of DUI say he should be off the team. Call coaches that do not kick player off as being uncaring about student and only wanting the wins. Where are you now? Oh, I see, when one of YOUR guys do it, you find excuses. What a damn joke.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

Why is this the top story? Aren't there more pressing issues and news out there? The Ann Arbor News and now seem to have a goal of showing African Americans in a bad light. There seems to be a racist agenda behind the stories and photos that often show up on the front page.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

Can we put this story to bed now and get on with some independent and creative journalism? The U of M football news lately is either a question and answer session with somebody or cut and pastes from different sources. How about a nice expose on the defensive back field, detailing their backgrounds and interests both on and off the field. Or a look at the history of Michigan's kicking game since the 2 point option and/or overtime was instituted. Maybe one of the writers could shadow, or at least attempt to shadow, an offensive linemans' diet and workout regimen.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 7:25 p.m.

Just to clear up any confusion here about blood alcohol content levels, here is a good resource: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> I have some experience with this issue and this calculator seems pretty accurate. Also, multiple drunk driving offenses are definitely a sign of a problem. If not an alcohol dependency problem, it's at least a lifestyle or judgement problem if you are being arrested for anything multiple times within a fairly short period. Wish this young man the best of luck, these types of offenses can take years to be completely resolved.


Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

seems like a reasonable calculator ... he could have had 6-7 drinks in 2 hours and had a .11

Are you serious?

Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 2:37 a.m.

Actually this calculator seems pretty good.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

@trespass I agree; with a closer look, this calculator is not only broken, but does not take into account many important variables. My apologies for providing a misleading reference.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

So by this calculator he would have to have 7 beers within an hour to blow 0.13 on the scene.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 7:18 p.m.

What's he doing driving a car w/o a license?


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

It is certainly no indication of a dependency situation. It is an indication that a couple of times in three years he drove after a couple of beers. It is an indication of bad judgment.

Are you serious?

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

Actually it is an indication of dependency. First of all it is impossible to have &quot;a couple of beers&quot; and reach 0.10 and secondly unless one is very unlucky getting arrested twice in three years indicates a lot of drunk driving. I won't argue with the bad judgment statement. Such &quot;bad judgments&quot; result in something like 30,000 people killed every year due to drunk driving.

Rob Pollard

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

I'm really surprised at many of these comments. He's &quot;unlucky&quot; or at least he wasn't &quot;outrageously&quot; drunk. Have we stepped into a time-machine back to the 1970s when drunk driving wasn't seen as a serious issue? He's an adult. He decided to drink; no one forced him. He then decided to drive drunk - multiple times. He surely knows from his previous conviction how much alcohol he can or can't have in order not to violate the law. Literally thousands of people are killed and tens of thousands more are injured by drunk drivers every year. These aren't mistakes - a &quot;mistake&quot; is forgetting the protection scheme on a 5 man blitz or running the wrong route into coverage. He is willfully committing serious crimes, putting himself and others at risk. &quot;Luck&quot; or being &quot;unfortunate&quot; has absolutely zero to do with it.


Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 3:35 a.m.

I agree, Rob. I am shocked that the charge of driving on a suspended license was dropped. Why? Our justice system is screwed up. Let's hope he's kicked off the team and out of UM, as well as serving some jail time. This guy needs to learn some lessons and understand there are consequences for illegal actions.


Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 2:58 a.m.

Your logic represents the classic view towards people who receive any sort of drunk driving/impairment charge. No matter how little alcohol was consumed, if that person was arrested then by your view their criminals, bad bad criminals! Would you say any of your family members who were arrested 2x over a short period of time for appearing impaired (but you know they only had 2 drinks each arrest) were alcoholics? Furthermore, would you categorize them as dependent just because they had the bad luck (yes I said luck) of being caught both times. Not getting caught doesn't make one any more responsible, but painting everyone as irresponsible isn't right either.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

He was allowed to plead down to the lesser charge of driving will visibly impaired insted of driving while intoxicated. It is my understanding that it is unusual for the prosecutor to plead down to this charge on a second offense. Is he getting some preferential treatment from the Prosecutor's Office?

Are you serious?

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

Nope. Not unusual especially if the BAC is under 0.15. Actually routine plea. Only practical difference is the fines and points on one's license. He now has 2 alcohol offenses - if there is next one it is a felony with far more serious consequences.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

One of the NCAA violations last year included the following; &quot;Also, the school required players to participate in summer conditioning for disciplinary purposes&quot;(charge #2). Stonum said in court he has been waking up at 4 a.m. and doing 1,500 yards in sled pulls and also pulling a 45-pound plate. Hoke said he doesn't have a timetable for when Stonum will stop the 4 a.m. workouts. Stonum is &quot;working really hard&quot; in a punishment schedule set up by the coaches. I think that these workouts were stopped after the compliance office was told about the possible violation. Isn't it interesting how difficult it is to change decades of old school mentality in football?


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

Amazing how so many people stereotype those who make a mistake for drunk driving as &quot;career drunks&quot; or &quot;alcohol dependent&quot;. Most commenting on this thread have no qualifications to even make those assumptions, but here is what is true. The average 6,0 man who has one or two drinks with dinner will have a .04-.06, BAC one hour after consumption. In Michigan a .04 can land you in jail, which for a average weight female is 1 drink on an empty stomach. Sound like career drunks to you? How many folks do you suppose have 2 glasses of wine with dinner on the average weekend night here in A2? The fact is, those who are unfortunate to get caught even once are deemed &quot;dependent&quot; by our criminal justice system (and those who also drink and haven't been caught yet). Its obvious Mr. Stonum's BAC numbers aren't indicative of abuse, in fact a .11 is merely 1 drink over the .08 limit, and for most people (a muscular athlete especially) would show no signs of impairment at that level. Abuse? I think not, un-lucky is the better term.


Sat, Jun 4, 2011 : 3:33 a.m.

Polyjuce, this has nothing to do with luck. Stonum was caught behind the wheel of an automobile drunk on two occasions. We don't know how many other times he was driving drunk. These are the times he was caught. He is an adult and knew exactly what he was doing, breaking the law. Nothing about this is luck.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

@AYS? I'm more than average weight, and by your metric, if I had three beers in an hour, I'd be at about .04 and completely fine to drive (by law). I don't believe it and I'd not take that chance. Either you are wrong or a person needs to be seriously f'd up to get a DWI / DUI.

Are you serious?

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 5:36 p.m.

Conventional wisdom among professionals in the substance abuse field indicate that the average drunk driver gets stopped about one time out of every hundred or so times they drive drunk. Getting stopped a second time statistically indicates someone who drinks a lot and drives. As far as the average man and the drinks, you are just plain wrong. After one hour a single drink will results in 0.00 BAC. Even two drinks one hour later will result in 0.02. 0.11 indicates about an entire six pack just within an hour of the test. And anyone who thinks that any driver can function normally with 0.08 or higher is simply wrong. One does not have to be staggering to be impaired. A muscular athlete is just as impaired as anyone else at the same level. It all has to do with brain function, not muscles.

fight hunger

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

i hope he has learned his lesson let him play fooball in sept please ggggggggggggggo blue


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

So multiple drunk driving offenses is quasi OK, but selling or exchanging memorabilia for tattoos is a major NCAA violation? I guess I'm missing something.

David Vande Bunte

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 4:42 p.m.

Yes, you are. Selling memorabilia is against NCAA rules, thus the NCAA has the authority to discipline schools for doing it. Drunk driving is a state law, completely separate from the NCAA.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

A person of Stonum's size will blow a .11 about 15 minutes after drinking two 12-ounce beers in 30 minutes. I understand laws are laws but in both DUI's his BAC was not particularly egregious.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

Stonum is close to 200 lbs ... so he would have had at least 6-7 drinks ... he definitely had alot more than just 2 beers. If he has a problem, which he certainly could, hopefully he will get some help.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 5:30 p.m. weighs about what? 70 lbs? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

Well, I don't have any medical training which is probably obvious. And thanks for the clarification, Mr. Buckeye fan. I see in your case that sour grapes can make good whine.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

@trueblue- I don't know where you got your medical training but the blood alchohol level for 150 lbs man is about 0.02 for each beer or each ounce of distilled spirits. The body metabolizes about one drink per hour. Thus he had a lot more than two beers (BTW he said he was drinking Long Island Ice Tea).


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

You are a star athlete at a prestigious B1G university and you can go to classes for free and then you go on drinking sprees and then operate a vehicle while intoxicated. How neat. lol! Stop smoking, stop alcohol, stop all criminal activities. Go to class, go to practice, be polite and respect others, show your athletic skills at the field, get good grades in class and he is on his way for success.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

Yes, Darryl Stonum made a mistake, but IMO, it does not rise to the level of the leaches out there who want his head on a platter. This is his first mistake under Hoke's watch so anyone suggesting his dismissal from the team is totally out-of-line and an overkill. He is a Senior who should be given a last warning, appropriate support and a chance to finish out his last season.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

&quot;In July, 2010, Stonum spent three nights in the Washtenaw County Jail for multiple probation violations. Rich Rodriguez chose not to suspend Stonum, citing Stonum's forthcoming demeanor in notifying the coaching staff of the issue.&quot; From <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Rob Pollard

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

Any evidence of RichRod not expressing appropriate &quot;gravitas&quot; or not warning him? Or are you just assuming something?


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

I'm strictly talking about football and whether or not he should be kicked off the team! Rich Rod glossed over his first conviction and failed to convey the gravitas of the situation. Hoke now has a chance to do the right thing - warn him and monitor his behavior from here on out!

Rob Pollard

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

A last warning? He wasn't &quot;warned&quot; sufficiently under the legal system when he drove drunk drove the first time, or violated his probation later and spent time in jail? How many &quot;warnings&quot; do you need?


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

Did Robert West prosicute this? While we are at it, did West lose his job? If not, why should Stonem? Don't toss the kid to the curb for this. He needs to finish up so he can have a life.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

If this young man makes a commitment to change, has the support of is family, teammates and the coaches, he should be allowed to finish up his senior year with the team. However, that said, I hope he gets the professional help he needs

Rob Pollard

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

That seals it. Darryl should be off the team - he is a danger to himself and the community. Drunk driving multiple times, and in between not following the terms of your probation, suggests a serious problem. I hope he finally can get the help he needs, and he needs to concentrate on that, not on playing football - a privilege he has (in my opinion) forfeited. Three strikes and you are out.


Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

His BAC was at 0.10 for the original incident (Sept. 2008) and 0.11 this time. While illegal and impaired, these aren't the outrageous numbers we sometimes see from career drunks. That said, he hasn't learned from his mistakes yet.

Ken Boyd

Fri, Jun 3, 2011 : 1:45 p.m.

This is a shame. It is very unfortunate that this young man has two drunk driving events already in his life. I believe that it is an indicator that he has a dependency issue and is in need of professional treatment. I hope that the University and the football program can help this young man before he damages himself permanently.