November 10, 2015 / 12:06 PM / 3 years ago

Ohio State quarterback pleads guilty to impaired driving

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) throws a touchdown pass to Buckeyes wide receiver Michael Thomas (3) in the fourth quarter at Lane Stadium. The Buckeyes won 42-24. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - J.T. Barrett, the starting quarterback for the undefeated Ohio State University Buckeyes, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to driving a vehicle while impaired, after being stopped by police last month at a checkpoint.

Barrett, 20, whose legal name is Joe T. Barrett IV, was sentenced to three days in a driving intervention program, fined $400 and had his driver’s license suspended for 180 days by Franklin County Municipal Court Judge H. William Pollitt Jr during the five-minute hearing in Columbus.

Barrett was ticketed on Oct. 31 near Ohio State after being stopped by Columbus police at a sobriety checkpoint, according to police records. He was also charged with trying to back out of the checkpoint and having a prohibited blood-alcohol level after taking an alcohol breath test, both of which were dropped.

Wearing a dark brown suit, Barrett apologized in court to his family, the Ohio State football program and to Buckeye fans. He left without further comment after the hearing.

Barrett’s blood-alcohol level was 0.099, well above the legal limit of 0.02 for drivers under 21, police records said. The legal limit for a driver 21 or older is 0.08.

Barrett’s attorney, Phillip Templeton, said “the facts are simple,” explaining how Barrett had made a “poor decision” in giving a friend a ride home that night.

“He had a little too much to drink,” Templeton said of Barrett. “Mr. Barrett is here, accepting responsibility.”

Urban Meyer, the head coach of the Buckeyes football team, suspended Barrett from the team’s game against Minnesota last Saturday. Ohio State won the game 28-14 to go 9-0 on the season.

During his first season last year, Barrett led Ohio State to an 11-1 record before breaking his ankle in the Big Ten championship game against Michigan. The team went on to win the national championship and Barrett finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting.

Reporting by Kathy Lynn Gray; Writing by Ben Klayman; Editing by Peter Cooney and Frances Kerry

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