EXCLUSIVE: Brandon Meriweather Arrested by ACPD

by ARLnow.com April 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm 24,116 76 Comments

(Updated at 8:35 p.m.) Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was arrested on suspicion of DWI by Arlington County police early this morning, ARLnow.com has learned exclusively.

Meriweather was initially stopped for speeding on westbound I-66 in the area of N. Ohio Street at 2:54 a.m., according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Officers detected an odor of alcohol on his breath and performed a field sobriety test, which Meriweather failed, Sternbeck said.

The two-time Pro Bowl strong safety refused a breathalyzer test, was arrested and spent the night in the Arlington County jail, according to Sternbeck. Police say Meriweather claimed he was driving home from a club in D.C., but couldn’t remember the name of the club.

After starting his pro football career with the New England Patriots in 2007, Meriweather spent last season with the Chicago Bears before signing a two year, $6 million contract with the Redskins on March 15, 2012.

  • alaaro

    I will never understand how millionaire athletes choose not to pay for a cab home from drinking.

    • BreakPause02

      Cabs are dirty, especially in DC.

      • nunya

        with that dough, he could afford the entire cab company. or at least a limo driver.

      • Hunglu

        Word if you’ve never been to va or dc than you’ll never comprehend the dirty cab is

      • Just Me

        I would rather be in a dirty cab than kill someone or be in jail.

      • Tim

        What would you rather do get in a dirty cab or loose a million dollars? duh..

    • CW

      Wait and see what his punishment is. Then it will make sense.

      • B-Rad

        He looks pretty chill if that’s a booking shot.

        What, me worry?

        • yeah

          yeah like 5 mojitos chill

      • GoodOmens

        Ha – yea.

        While the punishment for a refusal is pretty severe in VA – I bet he will get off with a slap on the wrist.

        • SouthArlJD

          Huh? It’s not even a criminal offense for a first offense refusal:

          From Section 18.2-268.3:

          “D. A first violation of this section is a civil offense and subsequent violations are criminal offenses. For a first offense the court shall suspend the defendant’s privilege to drive for a period of one year. This suspension period is in addition to the suspension period provided under § 46.2-391.2.”

          The punishment is mandatory and can’t be changed by the judge. The question is whether the Commonwealth can make the case for a refusal. Even if they do, it doesn’t mean he’s guilty of the DWI. Without the breathalyzer evidence the case will have to be made on the basis of his driving behavior and performance on the field sobriety case. Don’t know who his lawyer is, but this should make for a very entertaining trial.

    • Mary-Austin

      Pretty simple. Our culture teaches people if they are good enough at sports they can do whatever they want.

    • voiceofreason

      alaaro, you obviously have never tried to catch a cab from DC to Arlington…

      • Good Grief
        • Tabs

          Been there.

          I refused to get out of a DC cab when he refused to take me to Arlington. He freaked out and called the police, who told me I was free to go. They were questioning him when I left.

      • JBalls

        Just use uber. It’s more expensive for sure, but if you’re going from DC to VA you’re probably going to spend 20 bucks on a cab anyway.

        • Tabs


          I call Arlington cabs now.

        • John Y.


      • alaaro

        Do it all the time. The key is to get them started driving, then tell them you are going to arlington, then they cant stop or come up with a bulls–t excuse about “its not on my way home”.

  • B-Rad

    Did the police divulge their probable cause for pulling him over?

    • Good Grief

      Maybe there was an unscheduled DUI checkpoint . . .

      • B-Rad

        It’s also getting near the end of the month. Those proactivity expectations don’t fill themselves, you know.

      • Dan

        On an Interstate ??

        • Sonja M

          I think this stop was on the part of Lee Highway that’s right before you get on 66.

    • CW

      If they said it was a “one-car DUI checkpoint”, does that absolve them of the need for probably cause? Not even joking, does it?

      • drax

        “does that absolve them of the need for probably cause?”


    • jsmith

      what probably cause did the police need?

      OOOOOH you meant reasonable suspicion right?

      go back to law school………..

    • John Fontain

      He was pulled for speeding. See 2nd paragraph…

      “Meriweather was initially stopped for speeding on westbound I-66”

    • esmith69

      Really B-rad? At least read the whole story before spouting off your innacurate anti-police rhetoric.

      The dude was going 18mph over the posted limit, that’s why he was pulled over.

      But let me guess, that’s still not good enough for you. How dare those abusive cops pull over people who are speeding!

    • George

      they said speeding in the article

    • Read the Article

      “Meriweather was initially stopped for SPEEDING on westbound I-66 in the area of N. Ohio Street at 2:54 a.m., according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Officers detected an odor of alcohol on his breath and performed a field sobriety test, which Meriweather failed, Sternbeck said.”

      • Know what you are talking about

        The part you quoted was not included in the original article. It was added as part of the later update.

  • jsmith


  • ColumbiaForester

    How does ArlNow obtain the mugshots so easily? Didn’t think Arlington made them public.

    • JBalls

      That’s not a mugshot, it’s the Madden 2020 cover photo of RGIII, digitally aged.

  • Bob

    To alaaro/all:

    I don’t think all “celebrities” make a million very easily until they’re a bit wiser. For example, “You’re the best two-time Pro Bowl strong safety ever! Just sign here. We’ll take care of the rest.”

    Interview: “Mo Town” deal…an 11 point deal.” It’s easy to lose money. Work hard, get wise, and don’t drink and drive.

    Always take a cab, even from D.C. (or a hired limo [sure, of course!]) if you’ve been drinking.


  • kd

    Probable Cause? He was ‘driving while black’ through Arlington.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Yes, if he were white and stinking of booze, he would have been commended and escorted home. Hate to break it to you, but racism doesn’t lurk behind every single police stop out there. Sometimes, people actually DO commit an offense.

    • Ballstonian

      I always find that accusation to be strange when it concerns an incident at night, when its dark. Maybe the officer was driving the opposite direction, was able to tell that the driver of the vehicle was black, and decided to pull him over. But its just as likely that the officer was behind the car the whole time and didn’t see the driver’s race until he walked up to the window.

    • WeiQiang

      Maybe it was the Bentley with chrome spinners.

  • Very Odd

    Since when does ACPD patrol 66 ??

    • Brian K

      all the time .. they stopped me on there once too

      • Brian K

        for inproper lane change was was what htey said .. but it was more to see if I was drunk or stupid

    • Scott

      not so odd

  • drax

    I now certify that these comments contain the required percentage of innuendo, speculation, assumption of guilt, pre-judgements, and wild predictions.

  • Not new thought

    this just combines two comments from above:

    end-of-the-month quota and DWB.


    Meriweather was initially stopped for speeding

  • Inothernews

    ARLNOW: congrats on the exclusive. 5600+ views and counting. It was fun to watch the Twitter traffic explode after the post. Glad to know that people in places of trust w/in Arlington trust you enough to offer exclusive scoops. It’s a credit to the quality of your work. Thanks again.

    • Thank you!

      • Thes

        Agreed. You’re Arlington’s most trusted news source.

    • other side of the river

      Yep, +1 on the scoop.

  • .T-G.E.O.A

    Very smart to refuse the test. Worst case is he loses his license for a year.

    • esmith69

      If he refuses the test, does that somehow absolve him of guilt? Not trying to be annoying, I am genuinely curious as I don’t know the ins and outs of these kind of legal matters.

      If refusing the test does somehow magically absolve him of any guilt, that definitely seems like a major loophole that should be closed.

      • Zoning Victim

        It means that they don’t have the evidence of what his BAC was at the time. Refusing to take the test is a charge in and of itself. I’ve never heard of anyone being charged with DUI in the event that they refuse to take the test, but it’s reasonable to think that one could still be charged if there was enough evidence that the prosecutor thought he could get a conviction without having a documented BAC.

        Basically, assuming this is his first offense, he insulated himself from automatic jail time and an interlock device in the event that he blew a .15 or above and from all of the other stuff (alcohol program, etc.) that you have to do when you get a DUI. He also prevented himself from being guilty of a crime (first offense is a civil matter), unlike a DUI. It’s basically a one time in 10 year get out of jail free card that carries the risk of a one year license suspension, which you’re going to get with a DUI, anyway. Your second offense in 10 years buys you jail time and a misdemeanor conviction that will go on your record.

        More info: http://dui.drivinglaws.org/virginia.php

        • Aaron

          The article implies that Merriweather declined the field breathylizer and was then arrested and taken to jail. As far as I know, that’s the only penalty for refusing the field test. After you’ve been arrested, then the implied consent kicks in and you’re expected to take the “real” BAC test or face charges. I believe the intent is to buy your metabolism an extra couple of hours to get your alcohol level down to a legal(er) level.

  • Just the Facts

    Horribly bad decision to not take the test, actually. Get charged with 2 crimes instead of 1. Normal procedure is for the prosecutor to offer to drop the refusal in exchange for guilty plea on the DUI. Unless there’s a major flaw in the case, DUI can easily be made without breath results. Once you’re in jail for DUI, refusing the test doesn’t generally gain you anything. Only possible exception is if you have sky-high BAC and are willing to trade refusal charge for keeping the exact BAC number unknown.

    • Quoth the Raven

      I don’t agree — if you don’t have the test, you have to show impairment. Speeding alone isn’t going to get it done, nor is boozy-breath. If he were weaving, or blew through a stop sign, or whatever, you might be OK, but if it’s just speeding, you are going to be hard pressed to convict without a test.

      If you blow in the machine, and you’re over the limit, you’re guilty. Very hard to overcome the machine. I’d rather get hit with a refusal than with a DUI.

      • George

        I thought that even if you refuse the breath test, they will take your blood anyway at the jail and get your blood alcohol level from that? No?

    • KalashniKEV

      Wrong. Never take the test.

      • drax

        Wrong. Never drive drunk.

        • Numbers Sense

          Thank you for the most important statement of the thread.

  • Your Mom

    Arlington. Everyone is such an expert on everything.

    • WeiQiang

      I knew that.

      • epxert on experts

        no you did not!

  • Quoth the Raven

    Meriweather is a terrible safety, by the way. He’s an absolute sieve. I’m trying to go with “He thought the breath test was an opposing receiver and that’s why he missed it” but that’s not making much sense.

    • yayasisterhood

      50+ comments on this loser and you’re the only one that brings up a valid point.

    • “an absolute sieve” very nice analogy

  • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

    Does the arrest of a celeb count as 2 towards the QUOTA?

    • SomeGuy

      Officer of the month award is a no-brainer for the cop who pulled this guy over.

  • The Gov..

    I’d be drunk too if I had to work for Daniel Snyder!!

  • Stealing Stories

    WJLA 7 stole this story from this site and didn’t even credit the person who ran the story! Thieves!!!


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