Ben Wallace avoids jail time on DUI, gun charges
ASSOCIATED PRESS December 13, 2011 9:51AM
Updated: December 13, 2011 9:52AM
PONTIAC, Mich. — Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace was sentenced Tuesday to a year of probation but avoided jail time on drunken driving and gun possession charges that stemmed from a September traffic stop in suburban Detroit.
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Shalina Kumar also sentenced Wallace to 30 hours of community service.
Assistant Prosecutor Robert Novey didn’t ask for jail time and told Kumar that prosecutors wanted to treat Wallace “as if his name was Ben Smith.”
Wallace, 37, declined to address the court during the short hearing. He pleaded guilty last month and could have been sentenced to up to 93 days in jail, but his cooperation with prosecutors and decision not to fight the charges worked in his favor.
Wallace was arrested at about 3 a.m. on Sept. 24 in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Township after officers spotted him driving a Cadillac Escalade erratically. An unloaded pistol was in a backpack.
A breath test put Wallace’s blood-alcohol content at 0.14 percent, which is well above Michigan’s legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Wallace helped the Pistons win the 2004 NBA title.