By David Schwartz
PHOENIX (Reuters) – Phoenix Suns basketball forward P.J. Tucker was sentenced on Monday to three days in jail and 11 days of house arrest after pleading guilty to “super extreme” drunk driving in Arizona, one of his attorneys said.
Tucker, considered a team leader by insiders, signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract with the National Basketball Association franchise in July after a season in which he averaged 9.4 points and 6.5 rebounds a game.
On Monday, a Scottsdale judge put the 29-year-old on probation for five years, placed him on a substance abuse screening and counseling program and said he must carry a breathalyzer, or ignition interlock device, in his car for 18 months, his lawyer Melanie Beauchamp said.
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He had been arrested and released from jail in May after trying to drive home from the W Scottsdale Hotel after a night out, according to a police report.
Tucker’s blood-alcohol level was .222 percent in a blood test, or nearly three times the legal limit. “Super extreme” driving under the influence is .20 or above under Arizona law.
Lon Babby, president of the Suns basketball operations, said in a statement on Monday the team is convinced that Tucker is remorseful and that he will “take the necessary steps to avoid any such conduct in the future”.
In a statement, Tucker said: “I am truly sorry and I take full responsibility for my actions. It is now my responsibility to examine my life and make the changes necessary to ensure this never happens again.”
(Editing by Eric M. Johnson and Louise Ireland)