Two Portland Timbers players were arrested for DUI in Clackamas County on Monday October 24th, 2016. Liam Ridgewell (on left in photo) is the team’s captain, 32 years old, and from England. Jake Gleeson (on right in photo) is the team’s goalkeeper, 26 years old, and from New Zealand.
Portland Timbers DUI Details
It appears that Jake Gleeson’s BMW reported the crash electronically to local law enforcement by means of the BMW Accident Management System after his airbag deployed. Officers from the Lake Oswego Police Department responded at around 10:30 p.m. to the intersection of Pilkington Road and Willow Lane, and found that Gleeson’s vehicle had been rear-ended by another vehicle driven by Makenzie Varaniclapp. She was apparently contacted later, found to be uninjured, and was not cited for DUI herself. Prior to police arrival, Gleeson had called Ridgewell to assist, and both were found to be under the influence of intoxicants.
Both Players Failed the DUI Sobriety Tests
From preliminary reports, it appears both players agreed to voluntary field sobriety tests. They had a right to decline the tests, and they should have (see our page, “Should I refuse DUI tests in Oregon?“). Oregon uses three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (abbreviated as SFSTs) and they are considered to be a search (similar to a police officer searching your pockets, purse, car, or even your house). You have a right to decline the SFSTs tests, and you typically should. The tests are nearly impossible to perform without error– even if you haven’t had a drop of alcohol to drink.
Both Players Refused the DUI Breath Test
It appears that both players declined a breath test after their arrest. DUI breath tests in Oregon are conducted with the Intoxilyzer 8000 and a refusal to provide a breath sample typically results in a one-year administrative driver’s license suspension. This suspension is in addition to any possible driver’s license suspension for the actual criminal charge of DUI. While the decision of whether or not to blow is complex, in most cases it’s best to blow because of the enhanced suspension that comes with a refusal. Both players will be eligible for a DMV Implied Consent Hearing, so there is still a possibility that they can both avoid the one-year administrative suspension of they prevail at that hearing.
Of interesting note: Law enforcement apparently did not apply for a search warrant for blood samples or DUI blood testing, for either player.
Jake Gleeson Cited for DUI, Reckless Driving, and Recklessly Endangering Another
Jake Gleeson was cited for DUI, Reckless Driving, and Recklessly Endangering Another. Each of these charges are Class “A” misdemeanors and punishable by a maximum of a year in jail, a $6,250 fine, and five years of probation. However, it is very rare that a given driver will receive the maximum.
If Gleeson has no priors, he’ll likely be eligible for a dismissal of the DUI charge if he completes Oregon’s DUI Diversion Program. However, his employment with the Portland Timbers may be in jeopardy. Also, a DUI guilty plea could potentially cause problems for his work visa / immigration status. If he’s convicted of either or both of the Reckless Driving or Recklessly Endangering charges, he could face a criminal driver’s license suspension, probation, mandatory drug and alcohol treatment, community work service, and even jail.
Liam Ridgewell Cited for DUI Only
Liam Ridgewell was cited for DUI only. If Ridgewell has no priors, he’ll likely be eligible for a dismissal of the DUI charge if he completes Oregon’s DUI Diversion Program. However, his employment with the Portland Timbers may be in jeopardy. Also, a DUI guilty plea could potentially cause problems for his work visa / immigration status.
Portland Timbers Statement Following DUI Arrests
The Timbers league issued the following statement Tuesday morning:
The team is aware of the events that occurred last evening involving players Jake Gleeson and Liam Ridgewell and is in the process of gathering information on the matter. The team has been in close contact with the players, local law enforcement and the league office. The club will not have further comment until more information is available.
Cases to Be Handled in Lake Oswego
Both of the player’s cases will be handled by the Lake Oswego Municipal Court. Although Lake Oswego is in Clackamas County and most DUI cases are handled at the county level, some cases in and near Lake Oswego are assigned to the Lake Oswego City Attorney’s Office for prosecution. The Lake Oswego Municipal Court then assumes jurisdiction. For more details on DUI cases out of Clackamas County, please visit our Clackamas County DUI information page.