Williams gets fine, probation Terps coach's record can be clean again

September 12, 1990|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff Correspondent

SILVER SPRING -- University of Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams received a year of unsupervised probation and a $250 fine for driving under the influence of alcohol last May.

Appearing yesterday in District Court before Judge Louis D. Harrington, Williams was given probation before judgment and will have his driving record wiped clean if he satisfactorily completes the alcohol-education program in which he is currently enrolled.

Williams, 45, was stopped at 1:49 a.m. last May 12 on the Capital Beltway between Routes 355 and 185 in Montgomery County, and charged with driving while intoxicated. He was also cited for failure to stay in a single lane and not having a valid Maryland driver's license.

According to the police report, Williams registered a 0.11 on a Breathalyzer test administered at the time of the incident. Under Maryland law, 0.10 constitutes being legally drunk.

In a plea bargain arrangement,Williams pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of DUI, and failure to stay in lane, for which he received a $35 fine. Williams said after yesterday's case was heard that he had a valid Ohio license at the time and now has a valid Maryland license.

The DUI charge carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and or a $500 fine, while the DWI charge could result in a year in jail and or a $1,000 fine.

Assistant State's Attorney Jim Trusty said that the probation beforejudgment given Williams was typical for a first-time offender.

Neither Williams nor his attorney, Robert Rohrbaugh of Rockville, would comment on the outcome of the case.

In a prepared statement, Williams said, "I apologize to my family, friends, the University of Maryland and President [William E.] Kirwan and our supporters.

"This is a first-time incident and measures have been taken to make sure it never happens again. People who know me have been very supportive during this time. I thankthem for their efforts on my behalf."

Rohrbaugh told Harrington that Williams will be finished with his alcohol-education course at the Institute for Life and Health sometime in mid to late November.

As for Williams' probation, Rohrbaugh told the court, "If anything happens to Mr. Williams again, the court will hear about it long before the probation officer."

Former Maryland athletic director Lew Perkins wrote a letter of recommendation on Williams' behalf.

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