National/World

Police: Steelers' Ward failed field sobriety test

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward had glassy, bloodshot eyes and failed field sobriety tests during a traffic stop in Atlanta that landed him a drunken driving charge, according to a police report released Monday.

A transit police officer pulled Ward over just before 2:30 a.m. Saturday after he left his lane and at one point hit a curb in his gray Aston Martin, the report says. The transit police officer called a DeKalb County police officer, who wrote in the report that the former Super Bowl MVP and reigning "Dancing With the Stars" champ smelled strongly of alcohol.

Ward told the officer he had had two bottles of Corona beer three hours earlier at an establishment in the city's Buckhead neighborhood.

The officer asked him to get out of the car and administered a series of field sobriety tests, including a hand-held breath test that registered positive for alcohol, the report said. Ward later refused to give a breath sample on a state-administered machine at the DeKalb County jail, police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said. That test is used to determine a person's level of intoxication and can be used as evidence in court.

Ward swayed back and forth and became agitated during the sobriety tests, the report says. He also could not keep his balance and mixed up and omitted letters in the alphabet, the report says.

Atlanta lawyer Andrew Ree on Saturday released a statement saying the 35-year-old Ward was not impaired by alcohol while driving and cooperated fully with police. Ree said in an email Monday that he stands by the earlier statement and had no further comment.

After failing several field sobriety tests, Ward was arrested and booked into the DeKalb County jail and was later released on bond. He asked that his car be released to his passenger, Cory Allen, the report says.

Video from inside the DeKalb officer's vehicle captured the traffic stop, but police declined Monday to release the video because the case is still active.

Ward is set to appear Oct. 6 in DeKalb County State Court. He faces a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Since being drafted in the third round out of Georgia in 1998, Ward has been a four-time Pro Bowl selection, playing on teams that won two Super Bowls.

Dancing with professional partner Kym Johnson, Ward in May became the second professional football player to win the "Dancing" crown after Emmitt Smith won in 2006. He bested actresses Kirstie Alley and Chelsea Kane to become the season 12 champion of the TV celebrity dance competition.

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