Former major leaguer Jim Leyritz who is facing trial on DUI manslaughter charges was taken to a Florida hospital after telling police he was concerned about failing a Breathalyzer test in his car, and was "under a lot of stress" because of his legal problems, authorities said Thursday.
Davie police spokesman Bill Coyne said Leyritz had blown into the Breathalyzer device in his car Wednesday in an attempt to start the vehicle, but the device indicated he had been drinking. Leyritz tried a second time and the device read he had not been drinking. A court ordered the device for Leyritz's car to monitor him for alcohol when he's behind the wheel. He must blow in it to start the car, and periodically while driving.
Leyritz told police he was not drinking, and officers noted in the report that there was no evidence of alcohol or drug use. A urine sample was also taken. If the test comes back positive, it would be a violation of his bail conditions.
The 45-year-old former catcher and designated hitter faces a trial in Fort Lauderdale in a December 2007 crash that killed a woman.
Leyritz's attorney J. David Bogenschutz said his client did everything he was supposed to do Wednesday night. Leyritz hadn't been drinking and when there was a problem with the vehicle's interlock device, Leyritz immediately went to his probation office to take a urine test and prove he hadn't been drinking, Bogenschutz said.
The Fort Lauderdale defense attorney said he's talked with the prosecutor in Leyritz's case, and the two are planning to speak with the judge Friday.
Leyritz played for six teams and last was in the majors in 2000 with the Dodgers. He won the World Series with the Yankees in 1996 and 1999.
Authorities said in February that the car device had recorded that Leyritz had blown into it after consuming alcohol four times since it was installed in April 2008.
Coyne says a friend of Leyritz's called Wednesday evening to have officers check on him at his home in Davie, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. The caller said she was concerned about his well-being.
Leyritz told police he was having trouble sleeping, was anxious and may need medical attention.
Leyritz was released from a psychiatric unit at Memorial Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., Thursday afternoon, his ex-wife, Karri Leyritz told The New York Post.