In breaking news early this morning, Tampa Bay Buccaneers standout rookie wide receiver Mike Williams was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO)
According to an online story by The Tampa Tribune, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) deputies arrested Williams at U.S. Highway 301 and Causeway Boulevard at 2:48 a.m. He was arrested even though his blood alcohol level was lower than the level at which a motorist is considered too intoxicated to drive.
*** For an interesting tool to determine how much is “too much” to drink, you can check out the following link on the Blake & Dorsten, P.A. website. ***
Williams was driving 57 mph in a 45-mph zone, weaving in and out of lanes, Hillsborough sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon said.
When Williams agreed to sobriety tests (otherwise known as “Field Sobriety Exercises”) at the traffic stop, deputies saw “signs of impairment,” McKinnon said.
However, subsequenty breath tests showed Williams had blood-alcohol levels of 0.065 and 0.061. In Florida, drivers are presumed drunk at 0.08. The blood-alcohol tests were taken at Orient Road Jail.
This author would note that it is a common misbelief that anyone that blows below a .08 will have their DUI charge dismissed or reduced. In fact, Florida law “presumes” that someone who blows above a .08 is “impaired.” Florida law also “presumes” that someone that blows below a .05 is not impaired. However, there is no presumption on a breat test result between .05 and .08. Therefore, other facts will be considered such as the result of Williams’ pending urine analysis.
“But even before they take the breath test, deputies usually have enough probable cause for a DUI,” McKinnon said. “That breath test may come back double zero. People have refused the breath test and still got arrested. It only measures alcohol. It won’t register illegal or prescription drugs.”
“People think, ‘If I blow below a 0.08, hey, I’m scot-free,'” McKinnon said. “But I could take four (4) shots of NyQuil and be below it, too. Any type of chemical substance you ingest that impairs your ability to drive, you can get arrested.”
Deputies reported that Williams “smelled of alcohol” and had “glassy eyes” (pretty common indicators of impairment that we see on a daily basis in DUI police reports).
Williams was released from Orient Road Jail at 8:04 a.m. today after posting $500 bail.
“We are in the process of gathering all the facts,” Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said. “Mike has been very cooperative.”
Although Dominik would not comment further, Williams was expected to travel with the team today to San Francisco and will likely play against the 49ers on Sunday.
Williams was a fourth-round pick out of Syracuse and was named a starter going into the season. He was considered a first-round talent in last April’s NFL draft, but his stock slipped as concerns about his character arose.
While at Syracuse, Williams was forced to serve an academic suspension that came amid allegations he cheated on a test. He also received a one-game suspension in 2009 for breaking team rules and later quit the team in November of that year.
Earlier this year, Dominik said he was confident Williams’ problems were in the past.
“I wouldn’t bring somebody in here if I didn’t feel comfortable about it,” Dominik said at the time. “I don’t think anybody spent more time with this kid than the Buccaneers did, and I think we’re going to reap the rewards for it.”
This is the second Bucs players to be arrested within the last thirty (30) days.
Tight end Jerramy Stevens was arrested Oct. 23 on charges of Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell and Possession of Marijuana, both Felonies, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. He had thirty-eight (38) grams of marijuana on his possession and was close to the team hotel at the time of his arrest. Stevens was released by the Buccaneers a few days after his arrest.