Former Nuggets guard Ty Lawson pleads guilty to driving while ability impaired

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DENVER — Former Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson pleaded guilty in court Thursday in a drunk driving incident that occurred earlier this year.

Appearing in Denver County Court, Lawson pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired as well as failure to drive in a single lane in connection with a drunk driving incident that occurred on January 23, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

In January, Lawson was arrested on suspicion of DUI in the 3400 block of Park Avenue West in Denver. Police then said Lawson was pulled over after being clocked going 61 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Though he refused to take a chemical test, according to police, Lawson admitted to drinking alcohol before driving, his eyes were bloodshot, he was slurring his speech, there was a strong smell of alcohol on his breath, he was unsteady on his feet and he failed a field sobriety test. Police said Lawson also did not have valid identification on his person.

The 27-year-old NBA star told police he “was the subject of a previous DUI out of the state of Missouri,” which appears to be why he was charged with second-offense DUI in this case. The Associated Press covered a similar incident involving Lawson in 2008, when he pleaded guilty to driving after underage drinking in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was attending the University of North Carolina at the time.

In addition to being charged with a second-offense DUI, Lawson was issued citations for speeding and careless driving.

Lawson is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on January 14, 2016 in Denver County Court, where he could face a sentence of up to 180 days in jail.

Lawson was released on bail stemming from the January arrest, the terms of his bond stating he could not consume alcohol and had to submit to sobriety checks.

However, the athlete was reportedly arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of DUI less than six months after this incident. Lawson was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol for speeding on the 101 Freeway about 2:30 a.m. on July 14 and that he showed signs of intoxication.

In August 2013, Lawson was taken into custody along with his then-girlfriend Ashley Nicole Pettiford after a domestic dispute, though the charges in that incident were dropped two months later.

Lawson signed with the Denver Nuggets in 2009 and was traded to the Houston Rockets in July of this year.

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