TAMPA — Former Lightning wing Ryan Malone pleaded no contest to DUI charges and agreed to a pretrial diversion program on a drug charge in a court hearing Tuesday morning.
By accepting the pretrial intervention, his felony charge of cocaine possession will be dismissed if he successfully completes the program's requirements — which are similar to those already outlined by the NHL.
As part of his DUI punishment, Malone will have his driver's license suspended for six months and must complete 50 hours of community service.
Malone, who did not return a call to comment, was arrested in April after striking a curb while driving. He initially refused a field sobriety test, but later tests showed his blood alcohol level at 0.112, which is above the legal limit of 0.08.
The arresting officer also found 1.3 grams of cocaine in Malone's pocket. Malone said he was baffled by the discovery, according to court documents obtained by the Tampa Bay Times this month.
His attorney, Wes Trumbley, declined to comment after the hearing.
Malone, 34, is an unrestricted free agent after the Lightning bought out his contract in June. Several teams have expressed interest in the 10-year veteran, who had 15 points in 57 games last year.