Tucker, 29, will also serve 11 days of home detention, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Conviction on the "super extreme" charge associated with violations in which an Arizona driver's blood alcohol level tops .20, more than twice the legal limit of .08 — in Tucker's case, a post-arrest blood test revealed a blood alcohol level of .222, nearly three times the limit — could carry a 45-day jail sentence. But "Tucker also agreed to install an interlock ignition device on his car for 18 months to reduced jail time," according to Coro, who reports that the former University of Texas standout received five years' probation, must submit to substance abuse screening and counseling, and must pay $2,750 in fines plus court and jail costs.
"I am truly sorry and I take full responsibility for my actions. No excuses," Tucker said in a prepared statement released Monday. "It is now my responsibility to examine my life and make the changes necessary to ensure this never happens again."
"There is both a lesson and an opportunity in this experience: I learned the lesson the hard way — the opportunity is to ensure others don't," he wrote. "The good that resulted from making this mistake is realizing people's capacity to forgive. Thank you all so much for the love and forgiveness that I have received throughout this time. I will not let you down."
Tucker's statement was joined by one from the Suns, who reportedly knew about Tucker's pending legal trouble before re-signing the free agent to a three-year, $16.5 million contract in July.
"In considering this matter, we concluded that P.J. was sincere in his remorse and in his resolve to accept the consequences of his actions," team president of basketball operations Lon Babby said. "We are convinced that he will take the necessary steps to avoid any such conduct in the future. The Suns do not in any way condone his conduct, but we do support him as he works through this."
Now that Tucker's plea has been entered and accepted, and the courts have meted out his legal punishment, it remains to be seen whether additional discipline will come down from the NBA. Previous precedent suggests that a two-game suspension might be forthcoming; that's what then-Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd received last fall for pleading guilty to driving while impaired while he was a player with the New York Knicks, and what former Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks forward Devin Ebanks received after pleading no contest in a case stemming from a 2012 DUI charge.
A second-round draft in the 2006 NBA draft, Tucker played one season with the Toronto Raptors before heading overseas to play in Israel, Ukraine, Greece, Italy and Germany. He returned to the U.S. prior to the 2012-13 season, joining Phoenix on a two-year, veteran's-minimum deal. He made 81 starts at small forward in a breakout campaign last season, contributing 9.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game while hitting 38.7 percent of his 3-pointers and routinely defending the opposition's top perimeter scoring option.
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