Kerry Collins Convicted of DWI

New York Giants quarterback Kerry Collins was convicted today of driving while impaired, had his driver's license suspended for a month and was ordered to pay $186.

Collins entered a no contest plea to the charge, which stemmed from his arrest in Charlotte Nov. 2.

Collins did not attend today's hearing in Mecklenburg County District Court, but his lawyer, George Laughrun, told Judge Fritz Mercer Jr. that his client ``expressed regret and sorrow'' for the arrest.

Collins, signed by the Giants in February to a four-year, $16.9 million contract, was fined $100, the maximum allowed, and was assessed $86 in court costs.

People convicted of DWI in North Carolina usually are also ordered to undergo alcohol counseling. Collins was not, however, because Laughrun said his client had already completed an NFL-ordered alcohol rehabilitation program from Jan. 6 to Feb. 27 at the Menninger Clinic, a world-renowned mental health facility in Topeka, Kan.

The judge also revoked Collins' driving privileges in North Carolina until May 25, but Laughrun said his client moved out of his Charlotte home three weeks ago and had no plans to return to the state in the near future.

Collins, who in 1995 became the expansion Panthers' first draft pick, was arrested about nine hours after Carolina's 31-17 victory over New Orleans.

Trooper R.A. Benze, who made the arrest, testified today that Collins' car twice crossed the center line on a street that runs through one of Charlotte's most popular nightclub districts. Collins also nearly drove the car onto a curb, Benze said.

Collins refused to take a breath test when he was stopped, but was very polite, the trooper said.

Collins was cut by the Panthers in October after he reportedly told the team his heart was no longer into being Carolina's quarterback. New Orleans then signed him, but he also struggled with the Saints, and after the season they were not interested in re-signing the free agent.