As we all process the Super Bowl defeat, the Kansas City Chiefs are waiting to find out what will happen following Britt Reid’s accident that caused a 5-year-old to be hospitalized. Reports indicate that the young girl, Ariel, remains comatose.
While we wait with hope that Ariel will make a full recovery, there are many legal issues that are outstanding that Reid will have to go through, especially given the report that he admitted to have 2-3 drinks before getting behind the wheel.
In cases where a person is charged with driving under the influence, there are a number of factors that come into play. First, and probably most important, is whether this is a first offense, second, third, etc. We know that this is not Reid’s first run in with substance abuse issues, as this Yahoo Sports story details:
"In 2007, he was involved in a road-rage incident in which he allegedly pointed a handgun in a man’s direction. Reid was sentenced to eight to 23 months in jail and five years’ probation for the incident. He also pleaded guilty to DUI and drug charges in a separate incident that occurred the same year in which he drove into a shopping cart in a parking lot."
From what we know, this will be Reid’s second offense. Repeat offenders face much harsher possible sentences than people who are first time offenders. Britt will no doubt lose his license for a period of time and will have to serve jail time. These are all items that may be negotiated with the prosecutor assigned to his case.
Let’s look at the legal questions that surround Britt Reid.
Reid can choose to enter into a plea agreement presented by the prosecutor or proceed to trial. Most cases like this end in plea agreements, especially given the current pandemic which has stopped jury trials and caused a backlog of cases.
Another item that will factor in is the relative position of each side. Reports have noted that Reid admitted to having been drinking prior to getting behind the wheel.
That will make it much harder for Britt to negotiate lesser charges. The injuries he caused will also factor in. From recent reports, we know that Ariel remains in a coma and has not woken up since the accident. Another child was injured as well. These severe injuries will factor into the charges he faces. He will most certainly have to pay restitution to the families (money for damages they face like medical bills, car repairs, etc.). The prosecuting side appears to be in a much stronger negotiating position than Reid, which will allow them to offer stricter charges.
Regardless, the situation looks bleak for Reid based on the reports. Most recently, his phone was subpoenaed to see if it was used prior to or just after the accident.
This will provide evidence as to whether he was distracted and/or violating additional Missouri laws. Rightly, the Chiefs have allowed Reid’s contract to expire, and he is no longer a member of the coaching staff. The Chiefs will probably need to turn over security footage to see if Reid may have been drinking at their facilities.
This is a mess that will take time to sort through. Many individuals may be involved and the criminal charges (driving under the influence) will likely also be coupled with a civil case in which the family of Ariel will ask for large sums of money to make them whole. I would not be surprised if they brought in the Chiefs if security footage shows him drinking at their offices.
While we are left speculating for now, we can only hope and pray that Ariel recovers and does not suffer serious long term injuries. Chiefs Kingdom is stepping up to support her family and I encourage you to support her as well. And please do not drink and drive. Call an Uber, a taxi, a friend—anything. The risk to you and others is not worth it. Stay safe, Chiefs Kingdom.