You may have seen this in the story about Glen Rice Jr.‘’s dismissal from the basketball team, but there were some questions about the “permitting unlawful operation” charge that he received.
The charge is what it sounds like, permitting a driver to unlawfully operate a vehicle. From the Georgia Code: “It is unlawful for the owner or any other person employing or otherwise directing the driver of any vehicle to require or knowingly permit the operation of such vehicle upon a highway in any manner contrary to law."
I spoke with Noah Pines, an Atlanta criminal defense attorney, about it. He called it “unusual” and said that in 10 years as a prosecutor and eight years as a defense attorney, he’d never come across that charge and seemed to think it will be difficult to win a conviction.
“You’d have to have some sort of proof that [Rice] knew that the driver was intoxicated and he knowingly permitted him to drive anyway,” Pines said. “If you’re not intoxicated, why would you ever let an intoxicated driver drive you?”
Further, the only mention in the narrative section of the two incident reports about Rice was that he was charged. Had Rice done something to give police the impression that he had intentionally allowed London Warren to drive drunk, it would make sense for it to be in there.
With respect to Rice’s dismissal, the charge is irrelevant in that he was almost certainly going to be dismissed regardless. Still, the charge is curious, if nothing else.
As for the “DUI/less safe” charge against Warren, it is the charge typically given drivers suspected of DUI who refuse to take a breath test, which Warren did. However, the report noted that Warren was glassy-eyed, smelled of alcohol and had a hard time keeping his balance.
Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog