Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was charged Wednesday with driving under the influence in Northern California.
Lynch was charged by the Alameda County district attorney with driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and driving while having a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher. Lynch has a court date on Aug. 14, which is in the middle of Seahawks training camp.
But Lynch’s attorney, Ivan Golde, told The Associated Press that he feels the case could get thrown out or reduced because of discrepancies in blood-alcohol tests.
Golde’s contention is that Lynch was not at the California legal limit of .08 when he was pulled over in Emeryville, Calif., on Saturday and tested at the scene. Golde noted that Lynch’s level was higher when he was tested on a calibrated breathalyzer later at the jail.
"We think we have a really strong case," Golde said.
Teresa Drenick, director of communications for the Alameda County district attorney, could not confirm Golde’s claim about Lynch’s blood-alcohol content and said she could not discuss the details of the case.
Lynch was seen weaving on Interstate 880 in the Oakland, Calif., area on Saturday morning, leading to his arrest for investigation of DUI. An incident report released by the California Highway Patrol described Lynch driving a Ford Econoline van and having two near collisions with two other vehicles driving in adjacent lanes.
This is Lynch’s first off-field problem since coming over to Seattle from Buffalo during the 2010 season. Lynch’s career stalled with the Bills and was highlighted by two off-field brushes with the law, one of which resulted in a three-game suspension.
He pleaded guilty in March 2009 to a misdemeanor gun charge in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and three years’ probation, and was suspended three games by the league for violating the NFL personal conduct policy.
That was Lynch’s second run-in with the law with the Bills. He was also involved in a hit-and-run accident in Buffalo in May 2008. In the earlier incident, he pleaded guilty to a traffic violation and admitted to driving away after striking a woman with his car near Buffalo’s downtown bar district.
The league is aware of Lynch’s latest legal trouble, but it’s unclear whether his past transgressions could get lumped together with his current DUI arrest and lead to yet another suspension.
Lynch signed a four-year contract in March that will keep him in a Seattle uniform for the prime of his NFL career. The contract is worth $31 million, including a guaranteed $18 million. Lynch rushed for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.