Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch officially charged with DUI
The running back's arraignment is scheduled Aug. 14 in Alameda County, Calif., and Lynch will plead not guilty, according to his attorney.
Seattle Times staff reporter
DUI charges were filed against Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch in Alameda County, Calif., on Wednesday following his arrest over the weekend.
The arraignment is scheduled Aug. 14, and Lynch will plead not guilty, according to his attorney, Ivan Golde.
Lynch, 26, was arrested by the California Highway Patrol early Saturday morning in his hometown of Oakland.
Neither the incident report nor the charging documents stated Lynch's blood-alcohol content (BAC). Golde said Lynch's BAC was measured at .08 percent during the preliminary alcohol screening, which was the breath test administered after he was pulled over. Golde said Lynch's BAC was measured at 0.10 at the station — more than an hour after he was pulled over.
The legal limit in California is .08. Golde pointed out not only the level of Lynch's readings, but the trajectory.
"It was rising," Golde said.
Golde said those readings are evidence Lynch's BAC was not above the legal limit of .08 at the time he was pulled over.
Golde said Lynch will not be required to appear at the August hearing. The attorney also indicated Lynch will waive his right to a speedy trial, and he does not expect the case to be adjudicated before or even during the 2012 season.
That could be significant with regard to the question of punishment from the NFL.
NFL players generally are not suspended after their first DUI offense, but rather fined as much as two game checks. However, Lynch was previously suspended by the league after a misdemeanor weapons conviction, missing three games in 2009.
That history has led to a great deal of speculation on the possibility of a further suspension for Lynch from commissioner Roger Goodell.
That suspension may not be as likely as some have assumed and speculated, though.
Lynch's suspension was administered under the league's personal-conduct policy. A DUI offense falls under the league's substance-abuse policy, and first-time offenders generally are not suspended unless there are aggravating circumstances.
It should also be noted that the personal-conduct policy includes consideration for repeat offenders, who've had previous violations of the law. But punishment under that provision may not be able to occur until after the adjudication of the case.
Goodell has acted strongly in terms of the personal-conduct policy, not always waiting for nor relying upon the criminal-justice system to determine his actions. The lack of an official comment from the league makes it impossible to make a hard-and-fast statement regarding potential punishment.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com. On Twitter @dannyoneil.