SPRINGVILLE A few days before Christmas, city prosecutors charged Lacey Plaisted, the wife of star BYU basketball center Trent Plaisted, with driving under the influence and summoned her to appear in Springville Justice Court in connection with a Dec. 13 traffic stop.
She had apparently been taking a prescription painkiller for a recent knee injury she had suffered days before while at work. A Utah County sheriff's officer stopped her for running a stop sign and showing irregular "signals in her driving pattern" at 600 South and Canyon Road in Springville, according to police.
"In this case, the deputy said (Plaisted) did slow down enough to make the turn but didn't even come close to stopping," said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon. Upon approaching the car, Cannon said, the officer noticed that Plaisted's speech was slurred, which wouldn't be an uncommon effect of certain kinds of prescription medicines.
The officer did not smell or find any evidence of alcohol on Plaisted or in her vehicle, but in an initial report by a forensic nursing service at the jail found evidence of a drug that is "probably painkillers" in her system, Cannon said two days after her arrest. "But a sample is sent out for an official test that could take weeks to process."
A week after Plaisted spent an hour behind bars at the Utah County Jail, Springville prosecutors charged her with a first offense Class B misdemeanor DUI and a Class C misdemeanor for failing to stop at a stop sign. Prosecutors issued a summons for a mandatory court appearance on Jan. 14 at 10 a.m. for an arraignment, according to court documents.
"This kind of offense is enhanceable," said Paul DeWitt, a prosecuting attorney for Springville. "It just depends on her specific circumstances and her history." DeWitt would not comment on his prosecution plan or possible outcomes for the case but said many people in her scenario appear before the court and immediately express regret and say sorry.
According to Utah motor vehicle laws (Title 41), a person convicted of a first-time violation for DUI may be sentenced to jail for not less than 48 hours; work in compensatory service for at least 48 hours; be required to participate in home confinement; pay a fine of at least $700 or carry out one or more of an array of other possible court requirements.
The police who cuffed and booked Plaisted seem sympathetic toward the 21-year-old's plight.
Officers have repeatedly praised her amicable behavior during her arrest and said she was "as nice as they come."
The arresting officer even called Plaisted a day after booking her to say, "sorry you had to be involved in something like this," according to Cannon, who also made it clear that the arresting officer was not apologizing for making the actual arrest."This is not a person we're typically used to dealing with," Spencer said of Plaisted's polite demeanor.
Contributing: Sara Israelsen-Hartley