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Sunday, May 28, 2017

In DUI Case, Ex-Buc Boston Opts For Reckless Driving Plea

ST. PETERSBURG - Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver David Boston, arrested in August on a drunken driving charge, pleaded no contest this morning to a lesser charge of reckless driving. David Boston County Judge William Overton sentenced the football player to six months' probation and ordered him to attend DUI school. Boston also was ordered to serve 50 hours of community service and pay $615 in investigative costs and a $500 fine. After the plea, Assistant State Attorney Kendall Davidson said prosecutors opted for the lesser charge of reckless driving because the videotape of Davidson's field sobriety test was in Boston's favor.
Once Boston fulfills his financial obligations and attends DUI school, he will have the right to buy out of his 50 hours of community service. He also will have the right to ask for early termination of his probation. Boston declined to comment. One of his attorneys, Ron Hanes, said, however, that it was "extremely important to David" that he not be convicted of DUI "as he steadfastly maintained he was not impaired from the outset of this case." "This was a fair compromise reached with the state based upon all of the facts that we uncovered in our investigation of the case and will allow David to continue to pursue his football career," Hanes said. Wes Trombley, another attorney representing Boston, said Boston was going to join a Canadian football team in Toronto. Hanes said Boston, 29, is hoping to return to the NFL at some point and has "a lot of football left in him." On Aug. 23, Boston was seen in a sport utility vehicle weaving in traffic before he stopped at a traffic light. With the engine running, he fell asleep or passed out at the wheel, Pinellas Park Police Department reports state. After he woke up, Boston was asked to perform a field sobriety test. Boston failed to walk heel-to-toe and lost his balance, reports state. He also swayed when he tried to stand on one leg, reports state. After he complained about sports injuries, Boston was given a chance to put his finger to his nose; he got it right one of five times. He was able to correctly recite the alphabet. The first patrol officer noted that Boston didn't have bloodshot or watery eyes and that there was no smell of alcohol on his breath. The officer did note some jerkiness in Boston's eye movements, the reports states. Initial tests turned up no illegal substances in Boston, but a Pinellas Park police officer who is a certified drug recognition expert asked the Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory to run another test on Boston's urine for gamma-hydroxybutyric acid. The drug, also known as GHB, is a rarity in traffic cases. Boston said he merely was fatigued, but laboratory analysts found a high level of GHB in his system - four times the dose someone would be prescribed for a sleep disorder. In September, the Bucs announced the team had released Boston, calling the move an injury settlement. Boston hurt ligaments in his right foot while warming up for the season opener in Seattle.

Reporter Stephen Thompson can be reached at (727) 451-2336 or spthompson@tampatrib.com.

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