Running Back changed with DWI

Panthers starting running back Lamar Smith was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Charlotte, NC - Running back Lamar Smith on Thursday evening was charged with driving while intoxicated. Smith was pulled over on U.S. 29 North while driving at about 5 p.m. He was processed through the Mecklenburg County jail and released on $1,200 bond Thursday night.

This is not Smith's first instance with drinking and driving. While playing for the Seattle Seahawks in 1994, Smith was driving an SUV carrying teammates Chris Warren and Mike Frier that slammed into a utility pole. Smith and Warren had minor injuries; Frier suffered a broken neck that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Smith's February 1996 trial for vehicular assault ended in a mistrial, stemming from an error in the investigation — the police thought Warren was driving and failed to test Smith's blood alcohol level.

Two months before the next trial, Smith decided to plead guilty. He was sentenced to 120 days in a detention center, eventually serving 60 days in a work-release program; 240 hours of community service; and one year's probation. He also was ordered to give 35-50 percent of his NFL earnings to Frier over a seven-year period, a total that reportedly could reach $4 million.



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