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Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera gets March court date in DUI arrest

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An arraignment for Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is scheduled for next month in Florida.

Deputies with the St. Lucie County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office arrested Cabrera on Wednesday night for suspicion of driving under the influence and two counts of resisting an officer without violence in Ft. Pierce, Fla., more than 100 miles from both his south Florida home and the Tigers’ spring-training base in Lakeland in central Florida.

The arraignment is set for 9 a.m. March 16 in front of Judge Cliff Barnes at the St. Lucie County Courthouse in Ft. Pierce.

Cabrera can either report to court that day or hire a lawyer who could waive the arraignment, said Gayle Braun, assistant state attorney for St. Lucie County. If the arraignment is waived, he would not have to appear, she said.

There is no attorney on record yet for Cabrera.

Tigers spokesman Brian Britten didn’t comment on the arraignment date. “It is club policy not to comment on legal matters,” he said.

In the arrest affidavit, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies said Cabrera became belligerent with them last week, repeating, “Do you know who I am? You don’t know anything about my problems.” He refused to take a breath test.

Deputies said Cabrera picked up a bottle of James Buchanan’s Scotch Whisky and started drinking from it.

It’s not clear what he was doing in the area.

Cabrera is free on bail but hasn’t yet reported to Tigers spring training.

Note:Tigers closer Jose Valverde has missed his fourth day of spring training because of the flu. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said today he is going slowly with Valverde this spring. An AL All-Star last season, Valverde struggled during the second half with a 6.38 ERA.

Contact John Lowe: 313-223-4053 or jlowe@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @freeptigers. Free Press news services contributed.

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