Billy Gillispie's Latest Alcohol Charge Reveals Sobering Truth about Drinking

Richard O'NealSenior Analyst IAugust 27, 2009

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 12:  Head coach Billy Gillispie of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts to a call during the game against the Ole Miss Rebels during the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 12, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

As if spurning Texas A&M to coach Kentucky only to be fired due to an inability to consistently win wasn't bad enough, now Billy Gillispie has put himself at an all-time low.

ESPN.com reported Gillispie was arrested yesterday morning around 2:45 a.m. ET in Kentucky and charged the former coach with drunken driving. Gillispie also refused to take a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test, WLEX-TV in Lexington reported.

This marks the third time Gillispie has been arrested for alcohol-related charges, his other two charges coming back in 1999 and 2003.

The third charge certainly can't bode well for Gillispie, who still has a lawsuit going on against the University of Kentucky over a contract dispute.  He is in the process of seeking at least $6 million back from the seven-year contract he agreed to in 2007.

The school has since counter-sued, stating Gillispie never actually signed a contract with the school.

My Take on the Arrest News

Normally, I wouldn't report on these types of stories but drunken driving, not only by athletes and celebrities but by all Americans, is becoming a dire situation in our nation that needs to be addressed. 

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What can be done about driving under the influence?  Should the penalties be more severe?

Sure, there are campaigns and ads across America that are there to make Americans more aware of the importance of keeping drunk drivers off the streets, but is it doing enough?

To make matters worse, we are seeing more and more cases of repeat offenders with drunken driving, not less.  What does that tell America about the people who are caught and say they have learned their lesson, only to go do the same thing again?

About.com reports that alcohol-related deaths due to driving under the influence have increased in 17 states over the past five years.  There's no need to state the obvious of how alarming that should be to Americans.

Athletes and celebrities are watched constantly and should be setting an example, but many choose to do otherwise. What is really frustrating is that they have more than enough money to call a cab, call a friend, or hire a driver to pick them up from where they are...yet they choose not to, thinking they are invincible. Senseless.

Gillispie's latest arrest is a scary reminder that there is a problem in the U.S. that can't be solved by ignoring the problems that many of the athletes, celebrities, and normal American citizens have.

Let's just hope we can make this better soon, before we have to hear about another gut-wrenching story on the news.

Statistics were used from ESPN.com and About.com

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