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Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Jerome Simpson Charged With DWI

Posted on in DUI

Earlier this month, Jerome Simpson, the wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, was arrested in downtown Minneapolis and subsequently charged with DWI.

The DWI charge comes not long after Simpson pleaded guilty in connection with authorities' finding marijuana both en route to and in his Kentucky home, back when he played for the Cincinnati Bengals. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years' probation in April 2012 after he pleaded guilty to a felony drug-related offense.

Simpson was arrested around 4 a.m. Nov. 9 after a Minnesota State Patrol officer responded to a call of a vehicle that had stalled and blocked traffic on Interstate 394, a major route out of downtown Minneapolis.

The trooper reported that Simpson was alone in the vehicle and that he displayed "obvious signs of intoxication" -- a very subjective statement, you will note -- when he emerged, such as watery eyes and an unsteady walk. Simpson reportedly admitted to having been at a popular downtown Minneapolis bar that night, but said he had not been drinking.

Simpson was given field sobriety tests, but refused a chemical test when he was taken to Hennepin County Jail. He was booked into the jail around 5 a.m. Criminal defense attorneys view field-sobriety tests with suspicion because they are notoriously subjective and potentially inaccurate. Because they depend on the individual officer's impressions, it cannot be said that field sobriety tests are in any way standardized, or even very well formalized.

A few days later, he was formally charged with one count of refusing to submit to a chemical test and one count of fourth-degree driving while intoxicated. In Minnesota, drivers who refuse a chemical test may lose their driver's license for up to one year. Many other states have similar punishments, which are meant as an inducement so that people do not refuse these tests (even though many people feel they're invasive and violative).

In the wake of the charges against him, Simpson apologized but made no comment regarding the charges. At this point, a potential suspension from the NFL seems unlikely. However, Simpson is still on probation from his previous marijuana offense, so it will be interesting to see if and how this incident affects him in that regard.

As you can imagine, Simpson it would be good if Simpson were able to work with a thorough and skilled criminal defense attorney as he faces the charges against him. A DWI charge on its own is serious enough, and the fact that he is still on probation only compounds the issue. On top of that, even though a suspension does not appear imminent, his long-term career with the NFL may be in jeopardy, since the league has policies regarding players who are convicted of crimes.






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