DENVER – Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams will serve 30 days under home arrest for driving under the influence but not until after the season.
Williams was sentenced Wednesday but a judge said he didn't have to start serving it until Feb. 7, 2013. Prosecutors had asked that Williams serve a month behind bars.
Besides the home arrest, during which time he'll have to wear an ankle monitor, Williams also must serve two years of probation, have his sobriety monitored and attend alcohol education classes and therapy, all standard punishments for second-time offenders. He also must perform 56 hours of community service and pay $2,390 in court costs.
"We thought it was a fair and appropriate sentence given all the circumstances," said Williams' lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, who immediately filed an appeal.
Williams is serving an NFL-mandated three-game suspension over his August conviction for driving while ability impaired. This is on top of the six-game suspension he just completed for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Coach John Fox said Wednesday that Williams is "paying his dues right now, literally. So, it's a process. He's done what he's supposed to do through the process and we'll honor what they decide."
Williams was banned from team headquarters for the first six weeks of the season but was allowed to return last week. He can attend meetings but cannot practice and isn't allowed to speak with the media until his suspension ends. He can resume practicing with the team on Nov. 12.
Defensive end Elvis Dumervil said it was good to have Williams back in the building.
"He's a great teammate. Sometimes people make mistakes, but he's definitely a great guy to have in the locker room," Dumervil said. "Having his presence here is tremendous, so we're excited to get him back in the room with us."
Williams was originally charged with driving under the influence, but a jury convicted him of the lesser charge. He was also convicted of driving without headlights, the offense that prompted police to stop him near downtown Denver about 3 a.m. on Nov. 12, 2010.
Prosecutors said Williams failed roadside sobriety tests during his traffic stop and refused to take a blood test to determine his possible alcohol level. He was taken to a detox facility.
The Broncos stripped Williams of his captaincy shortly after his arrest — the second time he'd been detained for suspicion of drunken driving. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to impaired driving.
Williams, who also made news last summer by tweeting a picture of his digital playbook and saying his coaches were asking him to switch positions again, has led the Broncos in tackles five times in his eight years since joining the NFL as Denver's top draft pick in 2004 out of the University of Miami.
During his absence, Wesley Woodyard and Keith Brooking have shared snaps at his weakside linebacker position, although Brooking recently supplanted Joe Mays as the starting middle linebacker.
Associated Press Writer Colleen Slevin contributed to this report.
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