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Panthers WR Jarrett pleads guilty to DWI charge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers receiver Dwayne Jarrett pleaded guilty Monday to driving while impaired.

Jarrett surrendered his driver’s license during a hearing in Mecklenburg County District Court, and was ordered to pay $420 in court costs and perform 24 hours of community service. Jarrett will enter the first stage of the NFL’s substance abuse program, meaning he will be subject to more frequent tests for drugs and alcohol.

“This is a thing that happened and you learn from your mistakes,” Jarrett said. “You always have to take the right steps in everything you do. That’s life in general. I took full responsibility for what happened. I’m here in court. Everything worked out.”

The 21-year-old Jarrett was arrested March 11 in the suburb of Mint Hill after police said he crossed the center line and ran a red light. The police report said Jarrett’s blood-alcohol level was 0.12, above North Carolina’s 0.08 legal limit for driving.

The DWI arrest capped a tumultuous first season for Jarrett.

The former Southern California star was held to six catches for 73 yards and no touchdowns last season after being Carolina’s second-round pick in 2007.

He also was called out by the team’s star receiver Steve Smith, who told Jarrett he should spend more time in the film room instead of talking to reporters.

Jarrett said the incident led to some differences between him and Smith, but he’s now on the same page as the three-time Pro Bowler.

“Steve handled things in his own way,” Jarrett said. “We collided heads at times, but he wanted the best for me. We just had that miscommunication between us and we worked things out. There’s no bad blood between us. I’m here every day working hard just like he is and I’m just trying to learn from him.”

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