Ravens' Moeller found guilty on alcohol charge, avoids jail time

Offensive line coach expected to be suspended for at least one game, fined

April 11, 2011|By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun

Ravens offensive line coach Andy Moeller was sentenced to two years of supervised probation after being found guilty of driving while impaired by alcohol and likely will receive further punishment from the NFL.

Moeller, 47, is expected to get suspended for at least one game as well as fined, according to a source. An NFL spokesman said Moeller's situation is being reviewed under the personal conduct policy.

District Judge Dorothy Wilson ordered Moeller to abstain from alcohol and continue his rehabilitation, which includes two Alcohol Anonymous meetings a week, random drug testing and direct reports to the court every 60 days. A 60-day jail sentence was suspended with the exception of two days, which Moeller served at a lockdown treatment facility in November.

"I understand the seriousness of the charges and take responsibility," Moeller told the judge at Towson District Court before receiving his sentence. "I will never put myself in this position again."

Moeller was stopped Sept. 18 by a state trooper on the outer loop of the Beltway at Greenspring Avenue after going 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, according to police records. He had a strong odor of alcohol and stumbled during a sobriety test, according to the statement of facts presented by the prosecution.

This marked the third time since December 2007 that Moeller had been arrested on alcohol-related charges. He was acquitted of driving while under the influence in Mays and was given probation for driving while visibly impaired in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2007.

"We support Andy as he continues his program," team president Dick Cass said Monday.

Moeller was promoted from assistant offensive line coach when the Ravens fired John Matsko four days after the playoff loss at Pittsburgh.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti indicated at the end of the season that this is Moeller's "final chance."

"He's either going to get it under control or he's going to spend a lifetime of misery like other people that are affected by that," Bisciotti said in January. "We're behind him as long as he earns trust and continues to earn that trust. But he knows he's one step away from not being a Raven and then probably not being in the NFL at all."

Andrew Alperstein, Moeller's lawyer, said he was pleased with the outcome. Since Moeller was charged, Alperstein said, the coach has been "on a path largely unparalleled in my personal experience."

Moeller saw a psychiatrist and psychologist once a week from mid-September to the end of January and continues to see them at least twice a month. He has attended 52 self-help meetings and has passed 23 random alcohol tests.

"Andy has learned from his mistakes," Alperstein said. "He clearly feels bad about what has happened and is committed to his rehabilitation."

Letters of support from a doctor at the alcohol treatment facility and Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who pointed out Moeller's high character, were submitted to the judge.

"The state thought jail was appropriate," said Scott Nicholson, an assistant state's attorney. "The judge looked at the mitigation the defense counsel presented and ruled it sufficient. The Baltimore County State's Attorney takes driving under the influence very seriously, and we investigated this matter fully."

No travel restrictions were placed as part of the probation for Moeller, who often goes on the road for the Ravens and frequently visits his family in Michigan. His license wasn't suspended or restricted after a recent Motor Vehicle Administration hearing.

"I take total responsibility for my actions, and I'm committed to the programs the Ravens and others have afforded me," Moeller said in a statement released by the team. "I really appreciate the support the Ravens have given me."

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jamisonhensley

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