POSTED: 10:58 a.m. HST, Jul 31, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 2:22 p.m. HST, Jul 31, 2013
Former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan pleaded guilty today to driving under the influence of alcohol.
Brennan, who was third in voting for the Heisman Trophy in 2007, wanted to take responsibility, said his defense attorney, Michael Green.
The quarterback was pulled over for speeding in Kailua last year and was arrested. Police said he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit.
Green, who claims his client was pulled over because the officer recognized him, was prepared to fight whether there was a legal basis for the stop. "He wasn't interested in my using any legal process or any basis to try to get his arrest thrown out," Green said after the proceeding in District Court in Kaneohe. "He wanted to accept responsibility because he knew he was impaired. He said, 'I know what I did was wrong.' And I respect that."
Brennan has paid a $300 fine and is in the process of getting his driver's license back, Green said. He also completed substance abuse classes at a rehab facility on the Big Island soon after his arrest, Green said.
Police said they also found a plastic bag with cocaine residue in the rented car Brennan was driving, but prosecutors decided against drug charges, saying they couldn't fully prove the drugs belonged to Brennan.
The month before the arrest, he was cut by the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Green said the quarterback has felt like he has disappointed people with his fledgling football career. He also said that Brennan is still dealing with emotional and physical pain from a head-on crash on the Big Island in 2010.
"He's been going through lots and lots of stress," Green said, but added that he felt more at ease after the guilty plea.
Brennan set 31 NCAA records during his three years at Hawaii, including 58 touchdown passes in 2006.
Brennan was drafted by Washington in the sixth round of the NFL draft in 2008, but he never played a regular season game in two seasons.
He's now coaching football at Kahuku High School, Green said, and isn't giving up on a professional football career: "He's going to try to get back into football in the near future."