By Rebecca Henely
New York Giants offensive lineman David Diehl pleaded guilty in Queens Criminal Court Monday to driving under the influence of alcohol in Astoria last year, the Queens district attorney’s office said.
Diehl, 32, admitted to drunk driving before Queens Criminal Court Judge Suzanne Melendez. While Diehl has not yet been sentenced, his plea means he will have to take part in the National Football League’s substance abuse treatment program and obey additional requirements and sanctions related to his DWI, the DA said.
“Queens has a strict and very successful alternative sentencing program that emphasizes treatment and supervision of DUI offenders in order to prevent reoccurrences of unacceptable conduct,” DA Richard Brown said in a statement.
Diehl, who said he had been at a bar watching a soccer game involving Croatia, hit two parked vehicles on 35th Street near 31st Avenue with his 2011 BMW July 10 at 8:20 p.m., the DA said. The BMW’s front right side was damaged in the crash, the DA said.
When found by a police officer, Diehl’s breath smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred, he was unsteady on his feet and his eyes were bloodshot and watery, the DA said. An intoxilyzer test revealed Diehl’s blood alcohol content reading was .182 percent, above New York’s legal limit of .08 percent, Brown said.
The charges he pleaded to included one count of aggravated driving while under the influence and one count of driving while impaired, the DA said.
Diehl, who lives in New Jersey, has been playing for the Giants since 2003. He is Croatian on his mother’s side and is known for being active in the Croatian-American community.
The plea requires Diehl to participate in the NFL’s substance abuse treatment program, wear a bracelet for 90 days that will track his alcohol consumption, pay $1,200 in restitution to the owners of the vehicles that were hit and participate in an awareness program for first-time DWI offenders, the DA said.
Diehl is also barred from driving or applying for a driver’s license until he is sentenced, the DA said. He will attend three compliance conferences every two months and, if he obeys all the sanctions, his aggravated DWI charge will be dismissed and he will get a one-year conditional discharge on the driving while impaired charge, the DA said.
“If the defendant, who is a first-time offender, fails to comply with all the requirements imposed by the court, then we will seek more severe sanctions,” Brown said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4564.