COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett initially told a Columbus police officer he hadn’t been drinking the night he was arrested for impaired driving and asked for a way out because he was the Buckeyes quarterback, according to dash cam video of the arrest released Thursday.
“I’m the quarterback at Ohio State,” Barrett said after he was arrested Oct. 31 following a series of tests for impaired driving that he appeared to do well on. The officer is heard telling Barrett he’d been polite and cooperative.
“There’s nothing you can do?” Barrett asked.
Barrett, 20, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a count of driving while impaired and was sentenced to a three-day driver-intervention program to be completed by Feb. 15. Barrett was also fined $400 and had his license suspended for six months.
Barrett apologized in the courtroom to his family and Ohio State fans in a brief statement. “I’m just truly sorry,” he said at the Tuesday hearing.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Barrett came to his home the day of the incident to apologize. Meyer said Barrett told him he did not believe he was impaired.
Barrett was home Oct. 31 relaxing with friends when a “heavily intoxicated” friend stopped by and Barrett decided to drive him home, said Barrett’s attorney, Phil Templeton. Barrett’s sense of responsibility as an Ohio State captain played a part in that decision, Templeton said. A message was left with Templeton about the video.
Barrett apparently left the line formed at a sobriety checkpoint, according to officers who asked him why he did that. He said the line was taking too long, according to the video.
“You back out of line at a checkpoint, you draw attention to yourself,” the officer tells him as he is patted down with his hands on top of the police car.
A moment later, an officer asks if Barrett has been drinking. “Haven’t,” Barrett says.
“Haven’t?” an officer says. “So what I smell isn’t alcohol coming off your breath?” Barrett shakes his head.
Later, after he’s been arrested and had handcuffs placed on him, Barrett says, “Officer, there is nothing you can do? There’s nothing you can do?”
“What I’m going to do - my intention is to not take you to jail,” the officer replies. “That’s about the best I’m going to do for you tonight.”
Barrett is heard swearing once he’s placed into a cruiser. He later tells an officer that fellow quarterback Cardale Jones is coming to give him a ride home.
“We are aware of the video. The events that prompted it have been addressed and we are moving on,” said Ohio State spokesman Jerry Emig.
Barrett is considered the starter heading into the No. 2 Buckeyes’ game at Illinois this Saturday.
Associated Press Writer Ann Sanner contributed to this report. Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus. His work can be found at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/andrew-welsh-huggins
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