Detroit Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan was pulled over and arrested for drunk driving while dressed as Tinky Winky of the Teletubbies. Sheahan twice registered a blood alcohol level of .30 percent while in jail. As a result, Riley Sheahan faces Michigan’s “Super Drunk” charges that include 180 days of jail and possible deportation.
The 20-year-old, drunk Teletubby also provided the driver’s license of another Red Wings prospect, Brendan Smith, to police. He claimed to be using the license to get into bars. It is not yet clear if Smith volunteered the license to his underage teammate.
The humorous nature of Riley Sheahan’s costume-clad arrest overshadows the seriousness of the charges. For starters, this was Sheahan’s second alcohol-related incident after being arrested his freshman year of college. He used Brendan Smith’s driver’s license to get into bars and drink illegally. While drinking at bars he should not have been able to enter, he drank to dangerous levels. This suggests negligence from the bartenders serving Sheahan, bouncers checking licenses, and Riley Sheahan himself.
More importantly, the decision to get behind the wheel despite a .30 BAC is immature and dangerous. Sheahan could easily have caused an accident, taken a life, or harmed himself.
The Detroit Red Wings say Riley Sheahan is getting the help he needs, but a history of binge drinking suggests otherwise. The drunken stupor required to get arrested for public intoxication while attending Notre Dame University suggests a severe problem with alcohol – particularly when followed shortly thereafter by another arrest; this time behind the wheel with someone else’s driver license.
Riley Sheahan took his life and the life of other innocent people into his intoxicated hands with a foolish decision to drive while under the influence. Hopefully he gets the help he needs going forward, learns to make better decisions, and is able to overcome his problems with alcohol. Until then, despite his humorous costume, Sheahan’s decision needs to be viewed as the dangerous and foolish choice it was.