Discouraging news in the wee hours of Sunday morning as one of the top announcers in this or any era was reportedly arrested in Santa Monica on suspicion of DUI Friday night. TMZ broke the story that NBC's Al Michaels failed a field sobriety test after being pulled over and was placed under arrest…
"Al Michaels — perhaps the most well-known sportscaster in the world — was arrested Friday night for suspicion of DUI … TMZ has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … Michaels went through a DUI checkpoint in Santa Monica at approximately 10:00 PM on Friday and when he spoke to officers, they detected an odor of alcohol.
We're told he was pulled over and given a field sobriety and after performing poorly, he was placed under arrest. Michaels was released from jail at 4:15 AM on Saturday on his own recognizance.
According to our sources, Michaels blood alcohol level was right at the legal limit — he blew a .08 and a .09 in two breathalyzer tests."
Michaels was near the legal limit, so perhaps it's a surprise he would do so poorly on a field test to draw an arrest, but any headline involving a DUI can't be treated flippantly. This is certainly a black eye for Michaels and for NBC. The veteran broadcaster shouldn't have many assigments for NBC until the NFL preseason kicks off in August, so time will tell whether NBC feels the need to discipline Michaels for his arrest. Professional leagues have fallen under scrutiny for their lack of discipline for something as serious as DUI, but what will happen when it's one of the top broadcasters in America? We'll provide any updates if they come along.
UPDATE: Here's more details on the arrest via CNN, including Michaels' court date:
"Sgt. Ryan Gradle said Michaels, the current play-by-play announcer for NBC's "Sunday Night Football," was extremely cooperative and was released on his own recognizance Saturday morning.
Michaels was arrested shortly before 10 p.m., then spent a little more than five hours in the Santa Monica City Jail, the Los Angeles Inmate Information Center said.
He's scheduled to appear at Los Angeles Municipal Court at 8:30 a.m. on June 26."
UPDATE II: And even more details from USA Today from a Santa Monica police officer on what led to Michaels' arrest:
Michaels, play-by-play man on NBC's Sunday Night Football NFL coverage and the broadcaster who proclaimed "Do you believe in miracles?" at the 1980 Winter Olympics, was arrested for driving under the influence at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, according to Sgt. Richard Lewis, public information officer for the Santa Monica Police Department.
"He makes an illegal U-turn in a business district. … Two motor officers see that. They're staged in a gas station lot. They see the illegal U-turn, and they go after him," Lewis told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday.
"They do a traffic stop. During that stop, they smell alcohol and determine he is under the influence. They do a field sobriety (test) and they arrest him.''