Ohio State quarterback heads to court on impaired driving charge

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 10, 2015 7:03 AM

By Kathy Lynn Gray

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - J.T. Barrett, the starting quarterback for the undefeated Ohio State University Buckeyes, is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday on charges of driving a vehicle while impaired.

Barrett, 20, whose legal name is Joe T. Barrett IV, was ticketed on Oct. 31 near Ohio State after being stopped by Columbus police at a sobriety checkpoint, according to police records. Barrett was charged with driving while impaired, a misdemeanor, police records said.

The arraignment hearing will take place at Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

Barrett was also charged with trying to back out of the checkpoint and having a prohibited blood-alcohol level after taking an alcohol breath test, police records said.

Barrett's blood-alcohol level was 0.099, well above the legal limit of 0.02 for drivers under 21, police records said. The legal limit for a driver 21 or older is 0.08.

If convicted, Barrett faces up to six months in jail, a fine of $250 to $1,000, and a license suspension of six months to three years.

Urban Meyer, the head coach of the Buckeyes football team, suspended Barrett from the team’s game against Minnesota last Saturday, which Ohio State won 28-14 to go 9-0 on the season.

During his first season last year, Barrett led Ohio State to an 11-1 record before breaking his ankle in the Big Ten championship game against Michigan. The team went on to win the national championship and Barrett finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting.

Barrett's attorney, Phillip Templeton, said Barrett would be at the arraignment on Tuesday, but declined further comment.

(Reporting by Kathy Lynn Gray; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Peter Cooney)