OGDEN — Legal proceedings regarding a 2018 DUI arrest of a prominent Weber State football player remain open as the case ostensibly heads toward resolution next month.
Josh Davis, 20, the Weber State running back and reigning FCS national freshman of the year, is scheduled for a one-day bench trial on Sept. 16 in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court, according to court records.
Court records shed light on the still-pending charge against Davis and the allegations levied against him and, with the case still open, the university says Davis has met its disciplinary guidelines to this point and is in good standing with the team.
On April 20, 2018, Davis was pulled over in Salt Lake City by a Salt Lake City Police officer for driving 52 mph in a 35 mph zone, according to court records.
Prosecutors allege Davis, who was then 19, was driving the car with three other people inside. The officer observed “the odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle as he spoke to the occupants.”
Court documents show the officer asked Davis if he had been drinking, which he denied. He then agreed to field sobriety tests and reportedly took a breath test.
Soon after, Davis was under arrest. His reported blood alcohol level at the time of the traffic stop was .162, according to Davis’ justice court docket, which also indicates Davis had no DUI arrests prior to this stop.
Davis was later charged in Salt Lake City’s Justice Court with three class B misdemeanors, including driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and purchase, possession or consumption by a minor in measurable amounts.
Court records show Davis pleaded guilty to one count of driving under the influence, a class B misdemeanor, on March 13, 2019. In return, the other misdemeanor charges and a speeding infraction were dismissed. In the statement of a guilty plea, Davis admitted to “operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.”
During court proceedings on that day, Davis was given a 180-day jail sentence but all but two days of that time were suspended. Court records also show a sentence of 48 hours of community service in lieu of jail, as well as one year of probation.
But, two days later, records show Davis appealed the DUI case to the district court in Salt Lake City. Davis’ attorney appealed the case on the basis that the officer who arrested Davis failed to properly read him his Miranda rights. The case is still ongoing as of Monday.
It is not clear whether Davis was booked into jail after his arrest or if he served any of the two-day jail term or completed any of the possible community service. A request to the Salt Lake County Jail for a booking photo yielded no results in the jail’s system, according to a department spokesperson.
When reached by phone, Davis’ defense attorney Clayton Simms declined to comment on the ongoing case or the allegations against his client.
Davis, one of the most accomplished players in the history of Utah high school football, redshirted the 2017 season at Weber State after suffering a season-ending injury in the first game.
In the 2018 season, after the alleged DUI, Davis won national freshman of the year honors at the FCS level after rushing for 1,362 yards and nine touchdowns. He was also named the male collegiate athlete of the year for the state by the Utah Sports Commission.
WSU knew of the matter when it occurred, interim athletic director Tim Crompton said.
“In the spring of 2018, Weber State became aware of what we would consider a student-athlete code of conduct issue,” Crompton told the Standard-Examiner. “While I can’t specifically discuss an individual student, at the time, Weber State followed the guidelines in the student-athlete handbook. We took the appropriate actions to ensure the student-athlete was treated consistently within the guidelines. Weber State addressed the alleged incident — it’s still pending — that occurred that spring and considered it resolved at that time.”
Davis did not play in the 2018 season opener against Utah. He started the next game, rushing for 177 yards and two touchdowns at Cal Poly. It is unclear whether his absence in the Utah game was related to his pending legal matter, which has not been public knowledge.
“Every case is handled on a case-by-case basis within the guidelines of that code of conduct,” said Crompton, who was not the athletic director in 2018. “There are mitigating factors as well in terms of how the information came to light. For example, did the player self report or not?”
The code of conduct published on Weber State’s website details disciplinary guidelines used for legal matters against athletes. It requires an athlete to report violations to his or her head coach, or the athletic director, within 24 hours. Athletes who fail to do so “will receive stricter sanctions,” the code reads.
Cases that require immediate suspension from all team activities until resolved are on charges of felony or class A misdemeanor, the code stipulates. The charge still pending against Davis is a class B misdemeanor.
Student-athletes charged with “a less serious misdemeanor (usually class B or C) will be subject to sanctions as determined by the Director of Athletics in consultation with the responsible University Vice President,” it reads.
Crompton declined to specify what sanctions Davis has faced to this point except that he’s been held to the code of conduct as outlined in the student-athlete handbook, and noted the university’s role in teaching all students how to grow as citizens.
“We can’t comment on any pending litigation,” Crompton said. “Weber State athletics addressed the matter in 2018 and we consider it resolved unless new information comes to light.”
Commenting on how potential outcomes of the case could affect Davis’ standing with the football team — which kicks off its 2019 season Saturday — would be speculation, Crompton said.
“If new information comes to light, we would address that,” he said.