NFL.com wire reports
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (May 10, 2007) -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Steve McNair was charged with driving under the influence even though police said his brother-in-law was behind the wheel of the pickup registered to the former Tennessee Titan.
The Baltimore Ravens are aware of last night's situation involving Steve McNair and the Nashville police. Head coach Brian Billick talked with Steve today.
Ravens president Dick Cass issued this statement:
"We are aware of the situation involving Steve McNair. We have talked with Steve and persons in Nashville familiar with what happened this last night. We have also been briefed regarding the Tennessee law. We do know that Steve was a passenger in a car he owns that was stopped for speeding. Steve was not arrested for drinking, or driving the car irresponsibly. There is a court process that will now take place, and Steve will participate in these procedures."
McNair told the Ravens this:
"I was trying to act responsibly. I have to go through the court process now, and I understand that. I was planning to be in Baltimore for most of the remainder of this month to work out with my teammates, and anticipate that I will be doing that."
Although McNair was merely a passenger, he was charged with a misdemeanor under a Tennessee law that prohibits a vehicle owner from letting it be driven by someone who is inebriated.
Police said officer Harold Taylor pulled over McNair's 2003 Dodge pickup just before midnight May 9 because it was speeding. The driver, 31-year-old Jamie Cartwright, smelled of alcohol, failed a field sobriety test and refused to take a breath alcohol test, police spokesman Don Aaron said.
Cartwright said he was McNair's brother-in-law and acknowledged drinking at least two beers, police said.
The law used to charge McNair doesn't consider whether the vehicle owner was drinking, but only if the driver was impaired. Aaron said Nashville police have used the law to cite 42 other people this year.
McNair declined to comment when he was released from custody. He was accompanied by a friend, nightclub owner Robert "Big Daddy" Gaddy, who told WTVF-TV that McNair had done nothing wrong.
Greg Aiello, an NFL spokesman, said it was too early to determine whether McNair would face any punishment from the league.
"Any law enforcement matter that involves any of our people, we look into it to determine whether there is ultimately any violation of our policies," Aiello said.
McNair was arrested on DUI charges once before in Nashville in May 2003, when he also was charged with illegal gun possession.
After a year of legal wrangling, a judge dismissed those charges, ruling that police didn't have sufficient reason to pull over McNair.
The Associated Press News Service