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Detroit prospect Sheahan pleads guilty to “super-drunk” driving

Dec 13, 2012, 11:54 AM EDT

Riley Sheahan Getty Images

On Thursday, Detroit Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan pled guilty to “super-drunk” driving charges in a Michigan court.

Sheahan, 20, was arrested on Oct. 29 after police found him driving the wrong way down a road while in possession of AHL Grand Rapids teammate Brendan Smith‘s ID.

Clad in a purple Teletubby costume, Sheahan blew a .30 on his breathalyzer — any blood-alcohol content of .17 or higher designates “super-drunk” — and had to be sent to a local hospital for clearance, given how high his BAC was.

While additional charges of displaying or using false identification and driving the wrong way were dropped, Sheahan still faces a myriad of punishments for the super-drunk charge.

Here’s more, from

Court officials said Sheahan had to pay a $1,325 fine and agreed to complete 49 hours on a work crew, attend a victim impact class and serve 12 months of probation.

A person found guilty of diving with a blood-alcohol content of .17 or higher receives a one-year suspension of their driver’s license, according to the Secretary of State. After 45 days, they are eligible to drive using an ignition interlock device installed at the owner’s expense.

Sheahan was Detroit’s first-round pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — that same year, Sheahan was arrested on another alcohol-related charge (public intoxication, consumption by a minor) as a freshman at Notre Dame.

Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill told ESPN that Sheahan “”getting help right now and will continue to get help.”

  1. rosselliott - Dec 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    So…no jail time? Some states likely consider a .30 to be legally dead, but he gets behind the wheel of a moving weapon being THAT drunk and he gets a slap on the wrist? Oh no, a thousand dollar fine AND probation? Yeah, that will teach him and anyone else. Not to mention the underage drinking factor here, as well as the ID issue…

    Moral of the story, don’t drink and drive in Michigan…it’s merely frowned upon.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      Agreed, this is a joke. Unlikely to deter him or anyone else from doing something equally stupid. Not to mention he has a prior, though not nearly as significant, liquor-related arrest to his name and still gets off with nothing. How can anyone disagree with your assessment?

      • michiganhockey11 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        I shake my head that he didn’t get some jail time other than the night he split between county and the detox at the hospital. Me and you would have had jail time and this is a second offense.

        He’s really lucky he didn’t get deported which can reasonably happen. I have to imagine that with this, he is on thin ice with the Griffins and the Wings organizations at this point. 1 more incident and they will cut their losses.

  2. kiopta1 - Dec 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    The wings will get on him behind the scenes. They are a very good organization.

    • michiganhockey11 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      I agree completely.

    • tatdue - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      Really? I’m thinking that it’s more likely that it was the Wings organization that got him off with the slap on the wrist in the first place…..How is that teaching him anything? I’m sure that they will tell him not to do it again though, that should teach him!!

      • michiganhockey11 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        tatdue- my personal opinion wants to give him jail time. But, let’s look at the facts-

        Driving the wrong way down a 1-way street. Is the punishment for that jail time? No
        Driving drunk-Is the punishment always jail time? Not always the case

        Will attending a victim impact class teach him something? It very well might.

        Do I personally want him in jail? Yeah, but under current michigan laws, what he did, doesn’t necessarily justify jail time. If he would have wrecked the car, yeah, then you go into other potential issues for sure. Trust me, the Wings do not want another Probie (RIP) on their hands.

  3. zetaone - Dec 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    You’re a truly TERRIBLE person if it ever even crosses your mind to drive a car when you’re THAT intoxicated. You have to have absolutely no care for any other person in the world but yourself.

    I’ve had my share of “super drunk” times in my life. Never was I careless enough to put myself and others in harms way, so that’s no excuse.

    Disgusting human being. Down vote all you want, but what if he killed someone? You’d agree with me all day long.

  4. Stiller43 - Dec 13, 2012 at 1:12 PM


    No defense of him as he clearly didnt do the right thing.

    BUT at .30 (or over .30 as he was that night), he was probably blacked out and didnt even know what was happening. His drinking is the problem there, as .30 (again, he was likely over that) is damn close to dead. Im not trying to say “boys will be boys,” but its not like he was like “oh, yeah i think i can drive alright.” he was probably in and out (mostly out) of coherence. Its a wonderful thing nobody was killed.

    • tatdue - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      “No defense of him as he clearly didn’t do the right thing”, but I’m going to defend him anyways by saying that “”its not like he was like “oh, yeah i think i can drive alright” because he was too drunk to be able to think that”” – You have to be kidding right?

  5. jhuck92 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Must have been one hell of a night if he was in a Telly Tubby costume

  6. michiganhockey11 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    He’s very lucky he’s not dead or someone else is dead/injured, but based on the fact that he was still operating his Jeep (although the wrong way on a one way street in GR), and he’s Canadian, it probably means he started drinking at a young age. A .30 would render most of us unable to raise our hands to get our tab at the bar.

    I’m not going to raise the argument of celebrity special privilage, because we all know it occurs. Any of us would be facing jail time if we did this. That being said, I know the Wings will get on his back about this and hopefully he’ll clean his act up. They don’t need another Probie or what happened to Chaisson (yes, he wasn’t with the Wings when his accident happened) I am surprise they didn’t mandate AA meeting though.

    If you haven’t seen the Teletubby costume, that picture will haunt him in locker rooms for the rest of his life.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      Just curious, what does being Canadian have to do with starting to drink at a young age?

      • michiganhockey11 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        Personal stereotype and reference from about 10 Canadian friends I have and their individual stories. He had an MIP when he was at ND. He was operating a vehicle at a .30. You’ve got to have a pretty sick tolerance to still functionally operate heavy machinery with a BAC that high.

      • tatdue - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        So based on 10 peoples “stories” you are going to stereotype an entire country? Wow, I don’t even know what to say to that…..

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        Seems to me high school kids on both sides of the border start drinking around the same age, but I don’t know too many Americans.

      • michiganhockey11 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        Way to take a generalization based on some truth and get all American litigious on it. Why don’t you write an exegesis on why Canadian youth don’t start drinking early then? I’d be happy to peer review it for you. Beer and Canadians. It’s synonymous. Like Americans and Apple Pie.


      • dangle13x - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        Well let’s see here. What about Canada is different from the US in terms of drinking age? Could it be the fact that the legal drinking age is 2 years younger? Or is that to obvious?

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 13, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        I don’t really think it’s relevant. Most kids have started drinking before they’re 18 or 19.

  7. vanchuk - Dec 13, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    3 years younger in some areas (Alberta)

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