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Denver DUI case judge: Ty Lawson making "excellent progress"

Point guard Ty Lawson has found himself in hot water more than once, but he is apparently keeping things from boiling over. Traded earlier this summer from the Denver Nuggets to the Houston Rockets after his second DUI arrest within a year, the troubled star recently received praise from the Denver judge presiding over the first of this year's drunken driving arrests.

According to TMZ, the judge said Lawson is making "excellent progress." The 27-year-old was arrested early this year in Denver for drunken driving and again in Los Angeles on a similar charge six months later.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Lawson entered a 30-day alcohol treatment program after the second arrest. For what it's worth, Rockets' star James Harden says he spent time recently with his new teammate and is convinced Lawson is ready to put his off-court troubles behind him.

"He's more focused than ever," Harden says.

We have written in the past that Lawson was arrested in 2008 on an underage drinking and driving charge; in January of this year in Denver for DUI; and again in July for drunk driving in Los Angeles. Clearly, he could face a stiff sentence if he's convicted on the two most recent allegations and any future convictions.

If convicted of a fourth DUI in Colorado, a person faces the possibility of up to six years in state prison. Other states have similar felony drunken driving laws.

Fans of the former Nugget are undoubtedly cheered by news that he's focused and making progress in his efforts. He has a second chance to continue his career and make use of his talents.

You can get the same type of opportunity to redeem yourself after mistakes with alcohol. The first step is to get legal counsel experienced in DUI defense; someone who can negotiate with prosecutors and persuade a judge of your determination to right your course.

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