Archive for Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Griese responds to arrest ‘as a man’

Denver quarterback to take ‘full responsibility’ for his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving

October 31, 2000


— Denver Broncos quarterback Brian Griese stood up "as a man" to take responsibility for his weekend arrest on suspicion of drunken driving.

Griese, son of Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese, was pulled over Saturday on an interstate outside Denver. Police said he was traveling 80 mph in a 65 mph zone.

He failed roadside sobriety tests and was taken to a detoxification facility in Aurora, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Rob Marone said. Griese's blood-alcohol content was above the 0.10-percent legal limit, but Marone would not be more specific.

Griese said at a news conference that he had "a couple of drinks" at dinner with a friend before heading home.

"I'm going to take full responsibility for it because that's just the way that I am," he said. "I'm going to stand up, take whatever I'm going to receive and take it as a man and go on from there."

The 25-year-old Griese faces a Jan. 16 court date.

Griese was one of 130 people arrested Saturday in a law enforcement campaign to crack down on drunken driving. Officers set up checkpoints and randomly check drivers. Others targeted areas prone to drunken driving.

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, whose team resumed practicing on Monday after being off Sunday, said Griese was "a role model, as are all our players, and it was a poor decision on his part to drink and drive. Brian is responsible for his actions and must pay the consequences."

As a first-time offender, Griese probably will be fined by the NFL, not suspended. The league's alcohol policy states that "absent aggravating circumstances, discipline for a first offense will generally be a fine of one-half of one-seventeenth of a player's salary, to a maximum of $20,000."

Based on Griese's $358,000 salary, he could be fined $10,529.

Griese was the NFL's highest-rated passer until injuring his right shoulder Sept. 17 against Oakland. He missed a game because of the injury and has said he might need surgery during the offseason to repair torn cartilage.

Griese, who helped lead Michigan to a national championship in 1997, threw for 3,032 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

The Broncos have struggled in their first eight games, falling to 4-4 after a 31-21 loss to previously winless Cincinnati on Oct. 22. Denver visits the New York Jets (6-2) on Sunday.

Griese is the fourth member of the Broncos to run into legal problems this year.

Wide receiver Rod Smith was arrested in January on suspicion of domestic violence and pleaded guilty in July to misdemeanor verbal abuse. He was sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to attend counseling.

Linebacker Bill Romanowski was indicted in August on charges he used a diet drug that was prescribed for someone else.

Linebacker John Mobley was sentenced to probation and ordered to perform 24 hours of community service last year after an alcohol-related crash.

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