Wednesday, October 6, 2004

DE Smith arrested for drunk driving

Bengals notebook

By Mark Curnutte
Enquirer staff writer

Bengals defensive end Justin Smith was arrested Tuesday morning in Montgomery County for driving while intoxicated.

Montgomery County Sheriff deputies arrested Smith at 3:05 a.m. Tuesday in Washington Township. He was taken to the Centerville Police Department, a sheriff department spokesman said.

Smith agreed to submit to a chemical breath test. He blew .152, according to the arrest report. The legal limit in Ohio is .08.

According to the report, a Montgomery County deputy observed Smith weaving across the center line at least three times. The deputy pulled Smith over in a jewelry store parking lot on Ohio 725.

After submitting to the chemical test, Smith was taken to the Montgomery County jail in Dayton and booked at 4:44 a.m. He was released on $1,175 cash bond at 6:17 a.m.

The Bengals had no comment Tuesday. Spokesman Jack Brennan said the club would follow its policy of not commenting until the legal matter is resolved.

Smith, who turned 25 on Sept. 30, is a fourth-year defensive end from Missouri. He was the team's first-round draft pick, fourth overall, in 2001. He has played in 51 games with 47 starts - including all four games this season.

League policy gives commissioner Paul Tagliabue the option of fining Smith, suspending him or taking other action for a first alcohol-related offense. Smith will be required, by league rules, to enter the NFL's intervention program as part of its substance-abuse policy.

If there are not aggravating circumstances, a first alcohol-related offense is typically not subject to more than a $20,000 fine and doesn't involve suspension from play.

ROSTER MOVE: The Bengals waived second-year defensive end Elton Patterson on Tuesday. Signed from the practice squad Sept. 23, he played in the last two games. Patterson was the Bengals' second choice in the seventh round of the 2003 draft from Central Florida.

His release leaves the team with a vacancy on the 53-man roster.



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