Green faces legal penalties, NFL discipline

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 30, 2003

The Associated Press

WESTLAKE, Ohio - Browns running back William Green faces legal penalties and possible disciplinary action from the NFL after being arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana possession.

According to a police report, Green was arrested at 6:12 p.m. Monday after he failed a breath test. He had a blood alcohol level of .165 - more than twice Ohio's legal limit of .08.

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An officer found a bag of marijuana weighing 3.2 grams in Green's sport utility vehicle.

On Wednesday, Green pleaded innocent to the charges.

If convicted of DUI, he could be put on probation or face up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. The marijuana charge is a misdemeanor and carries a $100 fine.

Green was arrested after police received a cell phone call from a motorist reporting a possible drunken driver.

''He must be horribly intoxicated,'' the female caller told police as she described Green driving on and off the road. ''He's going to kill somebody.''

An officer pulled Green over after observing his car weaving and being driven on a flat front tire.

Green and his attorney, Brian Downey, did not comment after the player's arraignment in Rocky River Municipal Court.

After stopping Green, Patrolman Casey Carty gave field sobriety tests to the 23-year-old. Green didn't follow instructions for the tests and was given a breath test.

Green was released on bond Monday night.

The Browns released a statement Wednesday saying they were aware of Green's arrest.

Cleveland has a bye this Sunday. Following practice on Wednesday, the Browns players were given the next four days off and do not have to report back until Monday.

The Browns next play on Nov. 9 at Kansas City, and it was unclear if Green will be available.

In 2001, Browns coach Butch Davis suspended defensive tackle Gerard Warren, fullback Mike Sellers and cornerback Lamar Chapman for one game without pay following their arrests in separate incidents on the same day.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello would not comment specifically on Green's arrest.

Under the league's substance abuse policy, any player who breaks the law for alcohol or drug-related offenses is subject to fines and suspensions, Aiello said.

Green, who was suspended twice at Boston College for marijuana use, may enter the first phase of the league's substance-abuse program. Per the policy, behavior that includes arrest on a substance-abuse related charge could indicate a problem and could lead to a player entering the program.

In the initial stage, players are evaluated and subject to frequent random testing. They also receive counseling.

In their statement, the Browns said they would handle the arrest and incident within the team ''on an individual basis.''

Green missed Cleveland's game last Sunday in New England with a separated right shoulder.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Green was selected in the first round (No. 16 overall) in the 2002 draft.

Following a slow start as a rookie, Green rushed for 887 yards - 726 in his final seven games - as the Browns won seven of their final 10 games to earn a playoff spot.

Green leads Cleveland this season with 559 rushing yards on 142 carries.