As you may have heard, last night Ryan O`Reilly ran his pickup truck into an Ontario Tim Horton's, fled the scene of the crime, abandoned his car further down the road, and was then later picked up by police along with a friend. Making things worse, O'Reilly was tested with a blood alcohol level of .08.
It suffices to say that getting behind the wheel while intoxicated was a colossally stupid decision, and the man who signed the biggest contract in Buffalo Sabres team history could be in serious trouble.
O`Reilly was arrested on Thursday of last week and charged with driving a motor vehicle while ability-impaired, and leaving the scene of an accident. The charge of DWAI in Canada works a bit differently than DWI or DUI here in the United States. O`Reilly will automatically have his driver's license suspended for 90 days, and could have it withheld for up to a year should he be convicted, to go along with a $1,000 fine.
According to The Buffalo News, here's O`Reilly's worst case scenario:
Under Canada's Highway Traffic Act, O'Reilly faces penalties for leaving the scene that could include a maximum of six months in jail, a fine of between $400 and $2,000, seven demerit points on his license and a suspended license for up to two years.
O`Reilly's court date in Canada is August 20.
This was not exactly the finest week of PR for the Pegula Sports & Entertainment empire, as Buffalo Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer was arrested on battery charges, then Bills safety Duke Williams was publicly called out on Twitter for sending creeper DMs to a porn star, followed by this news about O'Reilly.
O`Reilly will almost certainly face additional punishment from the Sabres, the Pegulas, and the NHL, though what that might be is unknown at this point. The Sabres released a generic statement about the situation last night:
We are aware of the reports regarding the incident involving Ryan O'Reilly last week. We are currently in the process of gathering more information and will have no further comment until we have spoken with all parties involved.
Regardless of the substantial legal trouble he now faces, this is just about the worst way for O`Reilly to begin his (hopefully) long Sabres tenure. What started off as a celebration with ROR signing the biggest contract in team history, is now turning into a black mark for the franchise, and one that could continue into next season and beyond.
Stay tuned for further details on this story.