Earlier this afternoon, David Dwork of WPLG Local 10 News in South Florida reported that New Jersey Devils associate coach Andrew Brunette was arrested on Wednesday in Broward County, Florida for driving under the influence (DUI). The report is still developing but here are the facts as stated from Dwork’s report:
- The arrest took place in the area of Deerfield Beach
- The arrest was on Wednesday, there is no report of when on Wednesday it was.
- The charges include driving under the influence and disobeying a stop/yield sign.
- This is Brunette’s third infraction in that area as he has had two speeding-related infractions there. One in May 2022 was pled guilty and paid out a fine, the other from February 2021 was dismissed.
- Brunette was taken to the Broward Main Jail.
Per the Broward County Sherriff’s website, there are more details about the arrest of Brunette. He was given one charge of “DUI Alcohol or Drugs 1st Offense,” which carries a bond amount of $500. He was given two charges of “Disobey Stop/Yield Sign,” which have no bond amounts. As far as I can tell, there is no further details about whether the bond was posted, whether it will go to trial much less be challenged, or, most of all, whether anyone was hurt or damaged from the incident. This is still a developing story.
To that end, I do have three major points I want to bring up based on the known facts of this news. Before then, I do want to ask you, the People Who Matter, to avoid baseless speculation and rumor. You can react, but please be respectful of this serious story.
The first point is that I do wish no one was hurt from this event. The danger of DUI is that it can and has caused a lot of permanent damage to others and/or those under the influence. Above all else, I hope everyone is OK.
The second point is that this is a remarkably stupid thing for Brunette to do. It is widely broadcasted that DUI is a danger to one’s self and others. There are sadly too many stories and examples of those victimized by DUI. In these modern times, it is easier than ever before to call a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft in addition to cabs in case a designated driver is not available. Brunette and just about anyone else able to go out has this ability. It is absolutely not worth it to get behind the wheel when under the influence and it is easier than before to get someone who is capable to drive.
The third point is actually related to the New Jersey Devils. It is totally unknown how the organization will react. There are a lot of variables they have to consider. Much more may need to be determined before a decision can be made.
Remember, this is still a developing story. It is not known whether Brunette was alone. It is not known, other than the general area, where and what Brunette was doing. It is not known what exactly Brunette was under the influence of. It could be alcohol, it could be something else. The arrest was a first offense in Broward, but it is not known whether this is Brunette’s first DUI or the first time he was caught and charged with it. It is not even known whether the bail bond was posted yet or not. That is just with the news story alone and I am sure there are other factors the Devils may be interested in before making a decision.
There is more for the Devils to consider that we do not know and perhaps will not know. It is not known whether there is anything that this arrest violates in Brunette’s three-season contract. It is not known whether the Devils ownership or management team has a policy for such incidents. If they do, it is not known what that policy mandates. It is not known whether this is a sign of a larger issue, something where Brunette would need rehabilitation. It is not known how the Devils will react, especially since this arrest is in the news and in the public eye.
For now, Brunette is still an associate coach of the New Jersey Devils. Whether he will remain with the Devils depends on all of these variables and more and how the organization will judge him.
UPDATE: Andy Slater of FOX Sports 640 reported out more information, which makes the incident less dire. Here are the facts that came out later yesterday afternoon:
- Brunette was leaving a bar on a golf cart when arrested.
- The police found Brunette’s car illegally parked outside of the bar. Then Brunette went back inside, the cops waited for 15 minutes (??), and then saw Brunette get into the cart and drive off.
This is still a bad incident. Let me be clear on this. However, this news does soften the situation for lack of a better term. A golf cart can be dangerous; but it is not the same as a car, truck, van, or any other vehicle that can easily go above 15-20 MPH. That the police on the scene felt it was OK to let Brunette go away for about 15 minutes and then see him get on his cart and ride is very odd. If they did not take the situation so seriously, then that says something. As far as I can tell, no one got hurt as per these newer details, which is a positive.
The above points in the original post still apply. Maybe not so much the ridesharing point given it was a golf cart. I would think the Devils organization is not happy about the news; they will still investigate before making any decisions. That it involved a golf cart and no one getting hurt will factor largely in what the Devils decide to do.