Tony La Russa was charged with DUI day before White Sox hired him

Tony La Russa was charged with DUI a day before he got the Chicago White Sox job.

Last week, the Chicago White Sox shocked the world by announcing they hired Hall-of-Famer and recently-retired Tony La Russa as their next manager. No one thought the White Sox would be able to convince the three-time World Series champion to return to the dugout, but they did. As it turns out, there was a bit of news that took place a day before his hiring.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Paula Lavigne and Charlie Moynihan, La Russa was charged with driving under the influence after allegedly driving his car into a curb in Phoenix, Arizona, back in February. The Maricopa County Justice Courts filed the charges on Oct. 28, the day before he reached an agreement with the White Sox. This is also La Russa’s second DUI charge.

This is La Russa’s second DUI charge

White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said that the team was aware of La Russa’s arrest before they named him manager, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

On Feb. 24, La Russa was found alongside his smoking SUV by a responding peace officer, who smelled alcohol on the MLB manager per the Arizona Department of Public Safety. La Russa refused to take a breath test or submit a blood or urine sample and was described as being “argumentative” with the responding officer, resulting in his arrest.

The ESPN report says that La Russa registered a blood-alcohol level of .08, which is considered a misdemeanor under Arizona law. If convicted, La Russa faces up to 10 days in jail. However, Phoenix DUI criminal defense attorney Michael Munoz revealed that most first-time offenders face one day of jail time and pay a fine.

Back in 2007 during his tenure as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, La Russa was charged with DUI for falling asleep at a traffic light in Jupiter, Florida, and registered a blood-alcohol level of .093. La Russa pleaded guilty on the charge. Even though this is his second offense, La Russa would be considered a first-time offender in Arizona, since this incident took place more than seven years ago and would not count as a prior DUI under state law.

La Russa refused to comment upon receiving a phone call from ESPN.

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