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Jonas Valanciunas in scrum

Raptors Jonas Valanciunas Impaired Driving Charge Dropped

The Toronto Raptors got a scare in early April when budding star center Jonas Valanciunas was hit with an impaired driving charge after being spotted with open beer bottles in his car while going through a drive-thru in Wasaga Beach by the attendant.

It would be fair to call the incident a relatively Common Error In Judgement for young male drivers. The police in Ontario frown on motor vehicle operators having access to open containers containing alcohol while driving as does most of the general public.

Valanciunas and the Raptors issued press releases about the incident at the time.

Team Statement:

We were made aware this morning of the incident involving Jonas Valanciunas and are disappointed he has put himself in this situation. We take this matter very seriously as we have the highest expectations for all members of our organization.

At this time we are continuing to gather information and we will comment further when appropriate.

Player Statement:

I hold myself to a high standard and take my role as a member of the Toronto Raptors very seriously. I apologize to the organization, my teammates, my family and my fans, and regret any negativity this incident has brought upon them.

However, it became known after the fact that the police didn’t actually see Valanciunas behind the wheel of the car and apparently there was doubt about whether he was impaired.  The Crown (prosecuting attorney) has dropped the charges according to the Toronto Sun City editor.


Now that the charges have been dropped, the hope should be that Valanciunas has learned from his experience and doesn’t put himself in this situation again.

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.