What do Wisconsin readers picture when they envision a drunk driver? Bloodshot eyes? Slurred speech? Stumbling? Sure, all of these factors would describe a drunk driver. But couldn't they also describe someone tired from travel who suffers from a knee injury?
That is what the DUI defense attorney for Jamal Anderson, former NFL running back, is claiming was the matter with Anderson when police came upon him.
The 39-year-old was driving a 2008 black Cadillac Escalade when he apparently fell asleep while waiting at a traffic light. Police say that several attempts were made to awaken the former football player, but without success.
Finally, the police decided to block his car so that it could not move, and then climbed into the SUV through an open sunroof in order to put the car in park and turn off the engine. Still, they say that despite repeated attempts they were unable to wake Anderson up. Finally, after placing Anderson in handcuffs he responded.
However, he denies the allegation that he was drinking and driving. He says he was tired from traveling and from spending time with his family and friends. He also related that he was having family problems that could have added to his exhaustion.
While police say that they smelled alcohol on Anderson, all of the other factors that they described could describe someone who is exhausted, just as much as someone who has been drinking.
In any event police administered a field sobriety test, to which Anderson complied even though his knees are injured. He did, however, refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test.
Anderson was arrested on suspicion of DUI. He was booked into jail, but was then released that same day on $1,500 bond.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Police: Tried repeatedly to awake Jamal Anderson before DUI arrest" July 2, 2012