Police in Ohio have reported that an NFL player was taken into custody on drunk driving charges following a routine traffic stop in the early morning hours of June 4. Roger Lewis joined the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2016, but the promising 23-year-old’s career is now in jeopardy. In addition to criminal sanctions for the OVI charge, Lewis could face a lengthy playing ban under the NFL’s strict substance abuse policy if he is convicted.
According to media accounts of the incident, police pulled over an Audi sedan driven by Lewis for speeding and having tinted windows at about 4:16 a.m. Officers claim that Lewis showed signs of intoxication and was taken into custody after refusing to submit to a breath test. The officers also say that they detected the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. A subsequent search of the Audi is said to have uncovered a small amount of marijuana and a bottle of an unidentified liquid that was sent to a laboratory for analysis.
The incident does not mark the first time that Lewis has been in trouble with the law. He was charged with two counts of rape while attending high school and subsequently served three years of probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of making false statements to the police. Lewis caught only seven passes during his rookie season in New York, but he was expected to play a more significant role in the future.
The consequences of drunk driving can be especially severe for individuals who work in the public eye. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may urge prosecutors to be lenient in OVI cases when their clients were not involved in accidents and could face sanctions from their employers or professional associations.