Lamar Odom DUI arrest raises questions about his NBA future

Odom is expected to appear in court Sept. 27 after being arrested in the San Fernando Valley early Friday.


The incident raises questions about whether the former Clipper and Laker can play in the NBA again.

If Odom does sign with a team and is convicted of DUI, he will face a mandatory evaluation by the director of the NBA's anti-drug program, according to terms of the league's collective bargaining agreement.

"Lamar can't play anymore," said one senior executive with an NBA team who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to publicly discuss a free agent. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged career lows in points (4.0), assists (1.7) and minutes (19.7) last season with the Clippers.

In the wake of his arrest, his driver's license will be suspended for a year because he refused to submit to chemical testing at a police station, authorities said.

California Highway Patrol Officer Leland Tang said Odom was unable to complete a field sobriety test Friday, and once at the station he refused chemical tests to determine his level of alleged intoxication.

Drivers suspected of DUI may refuse to take tests in the field, but once they are at a police station, they are required to take a chemical test. If they refuse, they lose their driving privileges for a year.

"He did the one thing you should never not do: refuse the chemical tests," Tang said.

A driver does “not have a right” to consult a lawyer beforehand, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

"If you refuse to submit to any of the tests, your driving privilege may be suspended because of your refusal," according to the department's handbook.

Odom was released from custody Friday morning after spending about 3½ hours in jail after posting $15,000 bond; he is expected in Van Nuys Municipal Court on Sept. 27.

Odom was arrested early Friday after a CHP officer observed him driving erratically on the 101 Freeway, Tang said.

CHP officials said Odom was in a white Mercedes sports utility vehicle eastbound on the 101 near Sepulveda Boulevard just before 4 a.m. when he was spotted driving below freeway speeds, at about 50 mph.

A CHP report notes that Odom was driving in a "serpentine manner." He showed signs of being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol and failed a field sobriety test, according to the CHP.

At the Van Nuys jail, Odom refused all chemical tests and was booked without incident, Tang said. An inventory of Odom's SUV revealed no drugs, alcohol or other contraband, Tang added.


Odom was booked into custody at 5:01 a.m. and released at 8:33 a.m.

Less than a week before Odom's Friday's arrest, the NBA veteran was involved in a three-car collision on the same freeway.

The crash was not reported to authorities, but Los Angeles Times reporter Adolfo Flores said his car was rear-ended by another vehicle hit by Odom's white Mercedes on Saturday.

The incident occurred about 6 p.m. near the Gower Street exit on the southbound side of the 101 Freeway, Flores said.