Update: Since publishing this article, BYU Football Head Coach Kalani Sitake has told media that Francis Bernard requested, and was granted, a release from BYU’s team “a few weeks ago.”
Junior linebacker Francis Bernard was arrested early Saturday morning by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office and was booked into the county jail on charges of Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving without a valid license, and driving a vehicle with an expired registration. He was booked and released on his own recognizance (without having to post bail) within an hour and a half of his booking.
Because Bernard has no prior DUI convictions and because there were no crashes or injuries, he will likely be charged only with the lowest level of DUI under Utah law, which is a class B misdemeanor. A class B can carry a jail term of up to six months, but first time DUI offenders in Utah are usually given 48 hours of community service or a period of electronically-monitored home confinement, in addition to paying fines and court costs.
A judge may also sentence the offender to undergo substance abuse treatment to prevent the defendant from reoffending. A DUI conviction will also result in a suspended license, though that’s probably not applicable in Bernard’s case. It’s also possible that other circumstances, like having a blood alcohol level of .16 (2x the legal limit in Utah), could result in Bernard’s charges being increased.
Bernard, who has not played this season for the Cougars because of reported problems stemming from prior legal troubles, will in all likelihood plead guilty to reduced charges. He will probably be forbidden to obtain a driver’s license for a long period of time, pay a fine, and undergo substance abuse treatment in hopes of getting his life on a better path. It is unclear what this means for his status as a member of the BYU Football team.