Published March 09, 2009
PHOENIX – Former NBA star Charles Barkley on Monday finished serving a three-day sentence in Phoenix on a drunken-driving conviction.
Barkley was released from the Tent City jail just before 8 a.m. and avoided a throng of members of the news media by leaving through a different door where they were waiting, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Brian Lee said.
Barkley, a TNT studio analyst, reported to the jail Saturday morning wearing a blue warm-up suit with red stripes. He was not required to wear a jail uniform or the county's signature pink underwear because he got work release, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.
Barkley spent a total of about 36 hours in the jail after getting 12 hours of work release on Sunday. He was housed in a separate tent from the other inmates for his safety, and meals were brought to him.
The 46-year-old Barkley pleaded guilty last month to two misdemeanor DUI charges stemming from his Dec. 31 arrest, shortly after leaving a Scottsdale nightclub and failing a field sobriety test. He had a blood-alcohol level of .149 percent, nearly twice the legal limit.
A Scottsdale judge reduced Barkley's original 10-day sentence to three days after reviewing the case and deciding that seven days should be suspended if Barkley completes an alcohol-treatment program.
The Hall of Fame player also must pay more than $2,000 in fines and install an ignition-interlock device on his vehicles.
Barkley said last month that he made a mistake and just has "to take the beatdown."
Barkley played 16 seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets, and played on the USA Olympic "Dream Team" in 1992 and 1996. He was an 11-time All-Star and league MVP in 1993.