BYU football’s Neil Pau’u pleads guilty to impaired driving charge

Neil Pau’u catches a pass against Utah on Nov. 24, 2018. Pau’u recently plead guilty to an impaired driving charge. (Jaren WIlkey/BYU Photo)

Over a month and a half after being arrested for driving under the influence near the Smith Fieldhouse, Neil Pau’u has plead guilty to impaired driving, according to Provo City Justice Court reports.

On July 8, BYU police arrested Pau’u after he allegedly attempted to drive his vehicle through an area that was barricaded near the Smith Fieldhouse. Pau’u was sentenced to a term of 180 days in jail, a $1,000 dollar fine and 12 months of probation, though the 180 day sentence was suspended 178 days, meaning only two days will be served. The junior had his second charge of interfering with traffics signs and signals dismissed.

Impaired driving is a lesser charge than a DUI in Utah, and can come with up to six months of jail time and $1,000 fine. In order for someone to enter into a plea for impaired driving as opposed to a DUI, according to, they must either agree to an impaired driving plea and complete the required steps for a court-ordered probation or plead to impaired driving while the court agrees that the plea is in the interest of justice.

Failed attempts in the form of unreturned calls were made by The Daily Universe to obtain the police record, but according to The Salt Lake Tribune, the police report stated that Pau’u was arrested after he ran over “the candle sticks and yellow tape that were used to close the road for road repair,” and that a BYU officer noticed “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from inside the vehicle.” Pau’u tested with a 0.147% blood alcohol content level, well over the legal limit of 0.05%.

The wide receiver has played in 24 games over the last two football seasons, recording 32 receptions and three touchdowns. Pau’u improved over his two seasons at BYU, increasing his yards total by 77 while catching four more passes.

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