The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Pittsburgh Pirates DUI, President Frank Coonelly Faces Charges

A Pittsburgh Pirates DUI. Surprisingly, the DUI did not involve a player who was drinking because his team was so bad or a fan drinking too much because he couldn’t remember the last time the team had a winning season. Instead, this DUI involved team president Frank Coonelly.

Perhaps bad judgment from the very top explains why the Pirates are so awful on the field.

In December, ESPN reports that team president Frank Coonelly was arrested for drunk driving in Ross Township. Along with the DUI, he was charged with driving the wrong way down the street, careless driving, and driving with a blood alcohol level over twice the legal limit.

To his credit, Coonelly did not deny any of the allegations and even issued a public statement apologizing for his mistake saying that his decision to drive drunk was "irresponsible and wrong," reports ESPN. Long-suffering fans are still waiting for the apology for the team having been run into the ground.

The DUI charges that Coonelly faces are misdemeanors, while driving the wrong way and careless driving are considered summary offenses. Coonelly waived his right to a preliminary hearing and awaits arraignment on his charges next month.

So far, this case has all the appearances of an expected plea deal, but it was not reported whether a deal was in the works. Given the public apology and seemingly smooth ride to the arraignment, don't be shocked if Coonelly and prosecutors soon announce they've reached an agreement.

Even had the case gone to trial, it was not likely that Coonelly would face jail time. No jail time would almost be a certainty if there is a deal.

The Pittsburgh Pirates DUI came from the very top. Frank Coonelly handled the arrest well and it looks like he is setting up a plea deal. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a series of good decisions by the Pirates President.

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