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Former Steeler Clark Haggans to serve nine days in jail for DUI

| Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 1:46 p.m.
Steelers linebacker Clark Haggans sacks the Browns' Charlie Frye in the second quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium Sept. 9, 2007. Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
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Former Steelers player Clark Haggans is in Westmoreland County Prison on June 20, 2012.

Former Steeler Clark Haggans was incarcerated Wednesday morning in Westmoreland County Prison to serve a nine-day sentence for a 2011 driving under the influence offense in Arizona.

Haggans, 35, who plays for the Arizona Cardinals, will serve a mandatory 48 hours, then be on work release for seven days, county Sheriff Jon Held.

Haggans is paying the county $702, or $78 a day, to serve his sentence locally, Held said. During his work release, Haggans will leave in the mornings and report back in the evening to sleep at the jail.

Warden John Walton said Haggans, who lives in Arizona, requested to serve his sentence at the Hempfield jail.

“He'll be treated like everyone else. I guess through his years with the Steelers he has some local ties,” Walton said.

“He's paying his own way. We've taken in prisoners from all over the United States who live here and may have gotten in trouble from other jurisdictions. ... It's not uncommon,” Walton said.

“We had to get a court order from out there, which he provided us with. He had to fill out all of the paperwork like everyone else and also undergo a urine test when he got here — just like everyone else,” Walton said.

The Steelers took Haggans in the fifth round of the 2000 draft. He was a linebacker on the Steelers Super Bowl XL team that beat the Seattle Seahawks in February 2006. He left the Steelers in 2008 and signed with the Cardinals. He recently re-signed with the Cardinals for one year.

Haggans was arrested April 21, 2011, in Maricopa County, Ariz. According to court records, police pulled Haggans over for speeding and running a red light.

Records indicate police determined his blood-alcohol content was more than .20 percent. Drivers with a .08 blood-alcohol content are considered legally intoxicated in Arizona.

Clark's agent, Jeff Sperbeck, released a statement regarding the 2011 arrest and conviction yesterday.

“I would like to set the record straight as to the reason for me spending time in Westmoreland County jail. On April 21st of 2011, I was at a concert with my wife when I got a call from our baby sitter that our 5-year-old daughter was having trouble breathing,” Haggans said in the prepared statement. “She has been on medicine and inhalers since she was born because of her under developed lungs. The sitter was panicked.

“I had been drinking and my wife was planning on driving home from the concert. But my wife was wandering around when I got the call, and I couldn't find her,” he said.

“I tried calling her within the concert, but had no luck getting a hold of her. I needed to get home to my daughter immediately. I felt that my only choice was to drive home. While driving home, I sped and ran a red light, so I was pulled over. I, along with the officers, proceeded to my house and administered the treatment and my daughter responded.”

Haggans said he was issued a citation for two moving violations and suspicion of driving under the influence. As part of Haggans' agreement with the district attorney's office in Arizona, he will spend 48 hours, plus seven additional nights in jail, “to make restitution for my choices.”

“In hindsight, I should have found another way home, and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Haggans concluded.

Haggans was convicted of DUI in 2004 in Colorado.

Renatta Signorini and Paul Peirce are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Signorini can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com, and Peirce can be reached at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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