According to Hennepin County Court records, Peterson agreed to a plea stemming from a traffic stop. Despite media requests to be informed when the hearing was scheduled, the information did not become public until Tuesday. Peterson pleaded guilty to driving his BMW 99 miles per hour last November on Crosstown Highway 62.
As part of the plea agreement, Peterson was given a $300 fine, paid $78 in court costs and agreed to 16 hours of community service at a local children's hospital. A videotape of the police stop shows that the officer that pulled Peterson over at about 10:20 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 said that he clocked Peterson at going 109 mph. There are much stiffer penalties for drivers found guilty of driving 100 mph or more, so, from that perspective, the plea agreement claiming 99 mph makes sense. If found guilty of driving more than 100 mph, Peterson would have been subject to an automatic one-year suspension of his driver's license. Under his plea agreement, he gets to keep his license.
On the video, A.D. was asked how fast he thought he was going and he responded 85 miles per hour. Peterson was told at that point that he was going 24 miles an hour faster than that and 54 miles an hour over the posted speed limit of 55 mph.
Peterson was issued a ticket and the officer clearly must have been at least a casual fan. As the stop ends and he gives Peterson his ticket, he wishes him "good luck tomorrow." The Vikings played the Bears the next day.
The plea agreement spared Hennepin County what could have been an interesting trial. Given the gravity of the 100 mph law and the sports-related theme to the tragic death of former Timberwolf Malik Sealy, who was hit by a drunk driver heading the wrong way down a Twin Cities highway, the potential for an impassioned prosecution could have made for good sound bytes. However, Peterson's attorneys would surely have tested the accuracy of the radar gun used, calling on expert witnesses that would find flaws in the system. It would have been a circus.
Instead, the show opened and closed in an instant and we didn't find out about it until a week-and-a-half later.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.