Ira Lee works on his mid-range jumper before the Wildcats go through their pre-game routine prior to facing North Dakota State at McKale Center, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2017.

Arizona sophomore forward Ira Lee told police about his grandmother's death during a recent DUI stop, lining up with a statement he made shortly after the incident.

The Star reviewed police body camera footage provided by University of Arizona police. The video contained substantially more information than the narrative in the police report, which was released days after Lee's Aug. 19 arrest.

Campus police arrested Lee, 20, early in the morning after he almost hit another vehicle and drove the wrong way down a residential street. 

Separate Breathalyzer test results showed Lee had a blood-alcohol content of 0.215 and 0.198. Lee was charged with super extreme DUI and other DUI charges, including being a minor with alcohol in his system. He is set to be arraigned Monday morning.

Days after his arrest, Lee released a statement via Twitter, apologizing for his behavior and calling it "completely out of character."

In the statement, Lee said his grandmother had committed suicide the day before his arrest. Lee told the officer who pulled him over about his grandmother's death as well, though his statement wasn't included in the police report.

Lee told police during the stop that he'd gotten three hours of sleep the night before. He spent part of the evening at a friend's birthday party, where he only drank one bottle of beer.

He told the officer he started drinking at 7 p.m. and had stopped by 9 p.m., after which the officer questioned how it took him two hours to drink one beer, to which Lee responded, "Yeah, I don't drink that much."

Lee failed two of three field sobriety tests, after which police told him they were placing him under arrest and taking him to the station for breathalyzer testing.

Lee averaged 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game last season but missed the final four games of the regular season and the Wildcats’ three-game Pac-12 Tournament appearance because of a concussion suffered in practice. He played only one minute in UA’s NCAA Tournament loss to Buffalo.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at or 573-4191


I'm a watchdog reporter covering local government, the University of Arizona and sports investigations.