Braylon Edwards was arrested last Tuesday and charged with DWI. His blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit in New York. He blew a .16. Braylon Edwards played Sunday for the New York Jets, though he was benched for the first quarter.

A lot of talk has been generated since then on whether or not Edwards should have been allowed to play at all, considering his arrest. I heard Colin Cowherd on ESPN’s “Sports Nation” say that he was fine with Edwards playing. The way Cowherd talked, getting arrested for DWI really wasn’t that big of a deal.

Thankfully, his co-host, Michelle Beadle, quickly added some common sense to the argument, pointing out that he could have killed someone while driving drunk. And on their poll, the nation was split, 50-50.

The NFL has a what is called The Player Protect program, which is in place to prevent such a situation. The program provides a 24-hour driving service exclusively for professional athletes. If a player wants a lift home, he can call anytime and will be driven home, in a luxury SUV or Mercedes limo or an executive limo van.

Edwards’ decision to not use this service showed a complete lack of common sense on his part. And, like Beadle said, he could have killed somebody.

Cowherd felt like it wasn’t up to the New York Jets to suspend Edwards; it was up to the NFL. I disagree. The Jets should have benched him for the entire game. What did one quarter mean? Nothing.

Despite all the information we have available to us, drunk driving still kills thousands each and every year. And still, some people don’t view driving drunk as a major issue. But it is a crime, like any other crime. And it can have serious consequences.

Edwards got off lucky this time. He will probably just have to pay a fine and be put on probation. This time, he didn’t kill anyone. Next time, if there is one, he might not be so lucky.

Hopefully he will learn from this mistake, and not get behind the wheel impaired any more.

Driving while impaired is a serious offense that can have a deadly outcome. Unlike some things, this can be avoided, if people would only use common sense.

Denis House can be reached at sports@sentinel-echo.com

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