New Vikings fullback Jerome Felton was recently arrested after police say he was drunk driving. He was arrested in Eden Prairie on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol while sitting outside of an Eden Prairie McDonald’s. Prosecutors plan on charging one of the Vikings’ newest additions with second-degree driving while impaired and third-degree driving while impaired because of a prior drunk driving conviction. He may also face charges for careless driving.
What may be somewhat shocking for Minnesotans, however, is that his refusal to submit to a breath test was an automatic gross misdemeanor. Instead of wanting to rely on a more accurate blood test, the fullback could be in trouble for choosing not to take a breath test.
The football player is currently out on $12,000 bond.
Though he has apologized to his team, he may have felt like he had been forced to do so because of potential punishment from the NFL. Many people in Minneapolis can relate to that: it is sometimes easier to admit guilt to something you didn’t do in order to avoid problems with an employer.
The NFL Commissioner may be able to discipline the fullback under the NFL Personal Conduct policy.
It is important to remember that even though the man has apologized to his team, it is not an indication of his own guilt. Rather, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was driving while drunk. It remains to be seen whether officers were able to record a blood alcohol content and, if so, what it was at the time he was arrested.
Source: Pioneer Press, “Vikings’ Jerome Felton’s DWI arrest under NFL review,” Brian Murphy, June 8, 2012