HILLSBOROUGH, North Carolina — Michael Savarino, grandson of retired basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and former Duke basketball player, pleaded guilty to impaired driving on Wednesday in a case stemming from a court stoppage. traffic in November in rural Orange County.
Court records show that related charges of driving after consuming alcohol when they were under 21, as well as running a stop sign, were dismissed as part of a settlement. advocacy.
Savarino performed 24 hours of community service, paid $300 in fines and court costs, and is on unsupervised probation for 12 months. He has another court date on January 26 at Orange County Court in Hillsborough as part of a treatment program he must undergo as part of the plea deal.
Savarino’s offense fell within Level V of North Carolina’s sentencing guidelines for DWI, the least serious on the five-level scale.
The related aiding and abetting impaired driving charge against former Duke basketball player Paolo Banchero, stemming from the same incident, remains outstanding. The first overall pick in the NBA Draft in June, Banchero now plays for the Orlando Magic.
It is normal procedure in these situations, court officials said, for the aiding and abetting impaired driving charge to be dismissed when trying the related impaired driving case. Banchero has a court appearance scheduled for Thursday.
A phone message left by The News & Observer in the office of players’ attorney Sam Coleman was not immediately returned on Wednesday afternoon.
Court records show that Orange County Assistant District Attorney Maren Hardin was the prosecutor who signed the plea agreement.
Savarino announced in April that he would complete his Duke degree this summer and transfer to another school to complete his college basketball career. He has since announced that he will be playing at New York University.
After a season in which he was an All-ACC and a second-team All-American while leading Duke to the Final Four, the 6-10 Banchero entered his name into the NBA draft.
The criminal charges against the two stemmed from a situation where Savarino, who was 20 at the time, told police he had been drinking after being arrested while driving a vehicle with a Banchero license plate.
At 1:10 a.m. on Nov. 14, according to court documents, NC Highway Patrol arrested Savarino after he was observed driving through a stop sign in a 2017 Jeep SUV at the intersection of Bushy Cook Road and West Ten Road near Efland.
The officer said he observed signs of impairment, namely a “strong smell of alcohol” and “glassy red eyes”. Savarino admitted to drinking alcohol and underwent a field sobriety test. The officer gave him a “poor” report on this test.
Savarino was taken into custody and given a breath test, completed at 2:38 a.m. He showed a blood alcohol level of 0.08. When driving a motor vehicle, the limit is 0.08 in North Carolina.
Savarino was charged with DWI, driving after consuming alcohol before age 21, and a stop sign violation.
Banchero was sitting in the back seat of the Jeep when the traffic stop occurred. As the car was registered in Banchero’s name, he was charged with aiding and abetting impaired driving.
After joining Duke’s basketball team as a guest player in 2018, Savarino received a scholarship last summer for what turned out to be his final season with the Blue Devils. After his arrest, Savarino’s team discipline included banishment from team activities for what Krzyzewski called “a violation of our standards”.
His driver’s license was automatically revoked for 30 days after his arrest.
Savarino was off the bench for three games and then was with the team for two games on the road but in street clothes on the bench. He returned to the team in December, hitting a 3-pointer in his first game since being arrested when Duke beat SC State, 103-62, on Dec. 14 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Banchero did not miss any playing time due to the incident. Krzyzewski defended the move by stressing the seriousness of the charges against the two players and saying they were “two entirely different situations”.
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