The previous time Milwaukee Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo made the police blotter, in 2010, it was because he was a victim of a robbery at gunpoint.
This time, Gallardo was on the wrong side of the law, allegedly.
Authorities in Milwaukee County arrested and cited him Tuesday morning for drunken driving. ESPN Wisconsin was the first to report that Gallardo blew a .22 blood-alcohol content, which is nearly three times the legal limit in the state. A sheriff's deputy had pulled over Gallardo in his black Ford F-150 pickup truck about 2 a.m. after he was driving slowly and deviating lanes on Interstate 94 near 76th street in Milwaukee. A field sobriety test was issued.
It is his first DUI offense, and he has no criminal record, so Gallardo won't face jail time. Instead, he faces fines totaling $778.80: $300 for the offense, $300 for the high amount of alcohol, plus $178.80 for the lane violations. If that amount seems light, you're right. Had he been arrested in Illinois, Gallardo might face a fine of up to $3,000, with possible jail time.
Gallardo should consider himself lucky, as should anyone near him on the road while he was behind the wheel. According to statistics compiled by MADD, drunken-driving deaths numbered 196 in Wisconsin in 2011. Nationally, 9,878 people were killed and approximately 350,000 were injured because of drunken drivers.
ESPN's Drew Olson writes that it has been a while since a Brewers player got nabbed for DUI:
Gallardo is believed to be the first active Brewers player arrested for drunk driving since first baseman John Jaha was arrested in Elm Grove in May, 1998. Jaha, who was on the disabled list with a foot injury, had spent the evening at the Ground Round restaurant on Mayfair Rd. in Wauwatosa.
Ground Round. So dark in there. But Gallardo can't blame the Ground Round; the restaurant is no longer there. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Gallardo was drinking beer (naturally) at Leff's Lucky Town, a popular watering hole also in Wauwatosa.
The Brewers (oh, the irony) and Major League Baseball cannot punish Gallardo for his DUI. It's not within the collective bargaining agreement with the players' union. However, the Journal-Sentinel writes:
The CBA says it is mandatory, however, that the player be referred to a treatment board:
"The Treatment Board, as defined under the Joint Drug Program, will be responsible for creating and supervising individualized treatment programs for Players with an alcohol use problem or Players who have engaged in off-field violent conduct."
The Brewers also put out a statement that expresses their disappointment in Gallardo.
It's probably apropos of nothing, but Gallardo hasn't been pitching like a leader, either. The team's opening-day starter for the past four seasons has a 6.61 ERA over three starts so far. At least his ERA is only twice as high as it should be.