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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sutton charged with DUI

Tests: Alcohol level nearly three times limit

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— Oklahoma State basketball coach Eddie Sutton was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol Friday after tests showed his blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit following a car crash last week.

Sutton, who is on a medical leave of absence, also was charged by Payne County prosecutors with speeding and driving left of center. In the accident last Friday, Sutton's sports-utility vehicle swerved across four lanes of traffic, slammed into the back of another car, then crashed into a tree.

The driver of the other vehicle, Teresa Barnard, sustained minor injuries and was released at the scene.

Following the accident, tests showed Sutton had a blood-alcohol content of .22, almost three times the legal limit in Oklahoma, according to an affidavit filed with the misdemeanor charge.

Sutton, 69, admits he has an alcohol problem and apologized earlier this week for the accident that has cast a cloud over the future of his 35-year coaching career.

He released a statement Friday apologizing once again.

"I made a serious mistake," he said. "I recognize it, and I accept the consequences. In an attempt to get relief from the pain I was experiencing with my back and hip, I made a poor choice, and now I must address those consequences."

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