Hines Ward better stay out of trouble for the next 12 months ... 'cause the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver has been sentenced to a year of probation stemming from his 2011 DUI arrest.
TMZ broke the story ... Ward was arrested for DUI in DeKalb County, Georgia on July 9 ... after cops say he was driving his Aston Martin like a drunken maniac ... weaving in and out of his lane and hitting a curb.
Now, Ward has struck a plea deal with prosecutors ... in which he pled guilty to reckless driving and no contest to failure to stay in his lane (below) ... and in exchange, the DUI charge was dropped.
Ward was sentenced to 12 months probation, 80 hours of community service and ordered to submit to an alcohol evaluation and any treatment suggested by the evaluators.
He was also ordered to pay $2,000 in fines and court costs.