Indy 500 winner Unser pleads guilty to DWI in NM

Associated Press Modified: April 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm •  Published: April 11, 2012
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday to driving while intoxicated and racing on a New Mexico freeway.

The retired racer entered the plea a day before he was set to go to trial on aggravated DWI, drag racing and reckless driving charges. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but a judge deferred that in favor of 364 days of supervised probation.

Unser was arrested in September after he was accused of racing another car in his Suburban and driving over 100 mph near Albuquerque. Authorities say Unser smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred and his blood-alcohol content was twice the legal limit of 0.08.

He was charged with reckless driving and aggravated driving while intoxicated, and later released on released from jail on his own recognizance.

His attorney, Sam Bregman, told the court that his client completed 30 days of inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse.

"Al Unser Jr. is truly sorry for the poor mistake he made last fall," Bregman told The Associated Press. "He's taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again."

The arrest wasn't Unser's first encounter with the law. In 2007, he pleaded no contest to a driving under the influence charge stemming from a January 2007 crash on a Nevada freeway.

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