Illinois' Smith put on probation for two years after pleading guilty to DUI

Updated: May 24, 2007, 6:39 PM ET
Associated Press

URBANA, Ill. -- Illinois basketball player Jamar Smith, who was at the wheel in a crash that injured a teammate, pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol.

Champaign County state's attorney Julia Rietz said under the terms of Smith's plea agreement, the sophomore guard will serve 24 months probation after spending 15 days in the Champaign County Jail.

"Smith will receive no good time credit on his jail time because of the severity of the injuries to his teammate, Brian Carlwell," Rietz said. "He will also serve 100 hours of public service and take 75 hours of substance abuse classes, plus paying $850 in fines and $150 in lab fees and court costs."

Carlwell suffered a severe concussion when Smith's car struck a tree in Champaign the night of Feb. 12 during heavy snow. Police said the two, both 19 at the time and too young to drink legally, had been drinking tequila and beer before the crash. They said Smith had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.

Police also said that Smith, who allegedly believed Carlwell was dead, left the accident scene and drove the damaged car, with the unconscious Carlwell in it, back to his apartment in the nearby town of Savoy.

At his court appearance, Smith apologized for his actions.

"What I did not only put myself in harm's way, but I also put a teammate and anyone else that was on the road that night in danger," he said.

Illinois basketball coach Bruce Weber said Thursday afternoon he had just learned of Smith's plea and would have no comment.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE