Yesterday we had the unfortunate news of Aldon Smith getting arrested in Miami on suspicion of driving under the influence. The 49ers released a statement yesterday afternoon:
"The 49ers are aware of the recent matter involving Aldon Smith. We take these issues very seriously, but will reserve further comment at this time, as this is an ongoing legal matter. The 49ers will continue to gather the facts and monitor the developments closely."
This followed a tweet earlier in the day from fellow rookie Chris Culliver:
@aldonsmithJETS is cool I just spoke to my man, just a lot of misunderstanding— Chris culliver (@Cullyinthehouse) January 28, 2012
While it would certainly be a plus if this was a misunderstanding, we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out. The end result of DUIs is usually a fairly quiet resolution. The 49ers have had a pair of individuals deal with DUIs and after entering their initial plea, it is hard to find much more info about the end result.
For those wondering, the two current 49ers to deal with DUIs in the past are Ray McDonald and head coach Jim Harbaugh. McDonald's occurred in 2010, while Harbaugh's occurred when he was still coaching at the University of San Diego. McDonald plead not guilty and I have been unable to find what ended up happening. Harbaugh pled not guilty but it looks like he eventually switched his plea to guilty.
If this is all a misunderstanding, that's a plus, although it's still a position Smith, and really any prominent individual, wants to avoid getting into. On the other hand, if he was driving under the influence and eventually pleads guilty, he'll need to learn from this situation and move on. We'd all prefer this not have happened at all, but at least he is in a situation where he can learn from this mistake. I don't know about Smith's personal life, but he at least has two people who have been through this and can sit down with him.
As for potential punishment, I would imagine he will face a fine from the league, but probably not a suspension. This would appear to be his first brush with the law and the league generally doesn't come down with suspensions on such first time offenders. Let's just hope it's the last offense.