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San Francisco 49ers: Ray McDonald Pleads Not Guilty To DUI Charges

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 10:  Ray McDonald #91of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates his sack against the Arizona Cardinals during the third quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium on November, 10 2008 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Mihir BhagatSenior Analyst IIIJuly 22, 2010

According to reports by the Associated Press, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald has pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence. 

McDonald was arrested on June 12 after a California Highway Patrol officer pulled him over in his black BMW on Interstate 280 for allegedly driving 94 mph. His blood-alcohol content has not been released. 

Today, San Mateo County Assistant District Attorney Karen Guidotti stated that McDonald's attorney had entered the plea on Monday. 

Moreover, he said that a pretrial conference has been scheduled for September 28. Failing to resolve the case would result in a jury trial on October 18. If convicted, he will face a maximum sentence of six months in jail.  

McDonald, the team's third-round selection in the 2007 NFL Draft, has provided quality depth along the defensive line. So far, he's registered 38 tackles and five sacks. His absence will be felt as the team relies on a consistent rotation along their three-man front.

More importantly, though, it's truly a shame to see professional athletes involved in such a situation. Whether they like it or not, they are role models for our nation's youth. They should feel obligated to live to a higher standard in order to teach the kids, and all their fans in that matter, how to live a proper and healthy lifestyle. 

What we should take away from this incident is that this is yet another example of how no matter how rich and famous one may be, all citizens of this country are bound by the same set of laws. 

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