Charles cited for DUI

semerson@macon.comMarch 10, 2012 

Former Georgia tight end Orson Charles was arrested early Friday morning in Athens and charged with DUI and a traffic charge.

Charles was booked at 4:31 a.m. at Clarke County jail and released less than an hour later, according to the jail website. He was cited for DUI as well as “minimum speed.”

Charles’ breath test registered .095 and .100, according to the police report, above the state’s legal limit of .08.

He was pulled over near the Five Points area around 3 a.m. He was driving a black Chrysler 300 with dealer plates. When approached in the parking lot of a Waffle House, Charles apologized and said he was waiting for directions from a friend. He told the officer he didn’t drink beer but had a couple of drinks.

The arrest report said Charles “swayed badly throughout” a field sobriety test, which included a one-leg stand. When Charles was asked to walk a line, he stepped off it twice.

Charles declared for the NFL draft in January and has been expected to be one of the first two tight ends picked, probably to go in the first two rounds. The news of the DUI might hurt that, as the NFL has cracked down on off-field incidents.

The arrest came four days after Charles participated in UGA’s pro day in Athens, catching passes and working out in front of NFL scouts.

Ironically, Charles said after pro day that he had received advice not to drink from former NFL star Cris Carter, who is advising him.

“You have a chance to set your family for life,” Charles said. “Take advantage of that. They’re paying you a lot of money. Help your mom out, don’t be out on the street, don’t drink. This is your one opportunity. This is a job, treat it like a job.”

This is the second straight year a Georgia player who went pro had an off-field issue prior to the draft. Last year linebacker Justin Houston reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the NFL combine, leading his stock to drop, and he was picked in the third round.

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