As part of an agreement to which he pleaded guilty to a charge of driving after consuming alcohol under age, North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson penned a four-page essay in which he admits he made a "stupid decision."
Lawson writes about the impact the video "Smashed," which is about drunk driving, had on him — and mentions UNC tennis player Chris Kearney, who was charged with with several felony counts after driving off the road on Columbia Street early Sunday and striking two UNC students.
Kearney's blood-alcohol reading registered 0.18, and he has withdrawn from school this semester.
"Like the movie Smashed, we all saw what can happen when a good person and athlete makes a bad decision and drives after drinking,'' Lawson writes. "One of our tennis players here hit two students and hurt them after driving his car and drinking. The girls are in the hospital and hopefully will be OK. But they were hurt just walking down the street.
"He has had to leave school, lose his scholarship, and give up all the years of training and hard work he and his parents have done to make him a scholarship athlete. He now faces serious criminal charges that will cost he and his family a lot and will be with him the rest of his life. Hopefully the girls will recover, but it will be hard for them too because they are out of school while they recover. And the teammates of Chris will be hurt too. The have a great team and will now be missing one of their star players."
Lawson registered a .03 on a breathalyzer test when he was stopped at 2:33 a.m. on June 6. The state’s legal limit of intoxication is .08, but state law prohibits anyone under 21 from driving after drinking any amount of alcohol. Lawson turns 21 on Nov. 3. Prosecutors dismissed a driving while license revoked charge and a noise ordinance violation.
“I have learned a lot from this experience and know that I will NEVER drink and drive,’’ Lawson writes. “One of the things I have learned from this is that if we are going to party, we need to have someone with us that can help make good choices. Someone who can say don’t do that.
“I have a wonderful family, friends, teammates, coaches and a career. I do not want to do anything that would hurt what I have. I do not want to hurt someone else."