Cardinals' LaRussa Arrested in Drunken Driving Charge

Published March 22, 2007

| Associated Press

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was arrested Thursday on a drunken driving charge after police said they found him asleep inside his running sport utility vehicle at a stop light.

La Russa gave two breath samples and had a blood alcohol content of 0.093 percent, Jupiter police said in a statement. Florida's legal driving limit is 0.08 percent.

Undercover officers saw La Russa's SUV sitting partially in an intersection around midnight and not moving despite two green lights, police said. Officers knocked on the window and La Russa did not initially respond.

The SUV was in drive and running, with La Russa's foot on the brake, police said. When he woke up, the officers asked him to get out of the SUV. La Russa was cooperative during his arrest, police said.

The 62-year-old La Russa was booked into the Palm Beach County jail on the misdemeanor count about four hours later, according to police and jail records. He was released about 8:30 a.m. after posting $500 cash bond, said Paul Miller, a Palm Beach County sheriff's office spokesman.

La Russa declined to comment while he was outside the clubhouse in uniform hours later at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, where he planned to manage a spring training game against the Florida Marlins.

The Cardinals said in a statement that the team takes "these matters very seriously" and apologized for any embarrassment and distractions. "The Cardinals organization remains supportive of Tony," the team said.

La Russa is a four-time manager of the year and led the Cardinals to the World Series championship last season. He also won the title in 1989 with the Oakland Athletics and has won three other pennants. His 2,297 wins over 28 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, A's and Cardinals is third on the career list.

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