September 3, 2014

Medina
Mostly clear
61°F

Tribe’s Shin-Soo Choo gets $675 fine in DUI case

SHEFFIELD LAKE — Cleveland Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was fined $675 and given a suspended jail sentence Thursday after pleading guilty to drunken driving in connection with a traffic stop on May 2.

Choo was given a 27-day suspended jail sentence that he will not have to serve if he stays out of trouble for a year, said City Prosecutor David Graves. Choo also had to take a three-day-long driver intervention class in Sheffield Lake Mayor’s Court.

Choo’s driver’s license also was suspended for six months retroactive to May 2. He will be able to drive to and from work and his full driving privileges will be restored on Nov. 2, Graves said.

“He showed a great deal of remorse and was taking responsibility for his actions,” Graves said.

A Breathalyzer test showed Choo had a blood-alcohol level of 0.201, which is more than twice the legal limit for driving in Ohio. Ohio deems a driver impaired at 0.08.

Choo was arrested at 2:38 a.m. May 2 on Lake Road in a white Cadillac SUV, according to a police report.

A few minutes before his arrest, Choo asked a Sheffield Lake police officer for directions to Avon Lake.

The officer, who did not detect any odor of alcohol on Choo, gave him directions. He followed Choo’s car, which began driving erratically and crossed the double yellow lines.

The officer pulled Choo over, and that’s when the officer noticed an alcohol smell.

Choo also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to drive within marked lanes.

Because Choo had a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.17, he originally was charged with a higher-tier DUI. Graves said he agreed to reduce that to a regular DUI after reading an assessment provided by Choo’s attorney, Gerald Smith.

“He provided the court with an assessment that this was out of character and is probably an isolated incident,” Graves said.

After his arrest, Choo apologized to all of his teammates.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.